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New Romney curtain maker sews 800 face masks for care homes and hospital

Though face masks may be in short supply due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one woman from the Romney Marsh is helping to up the supply.

Lynne Barnes, from New Romney, started making the protective gear when lockdown began and has since constructed more than 800.

Some of the 800 masks that the New Romney sewing expert has made so far
Some of the 800 masks that the New Romney sewing expert has made so far

The 65-year-old normally runs her own curtain-making company - Lynne Barnes Interiors - so already knows her way around a sewing machine.

So far, the masks have been distributed to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and local care homes.

She said: "I have run my own business for 40 years. Lots of my curtain-making friends decided to make masks scrubs and scrubs bags so I thought I’d help as I have the skills and now the time.

"I feel it’s something I can do to help the front line workers even if it’s a small thing.

Lynne Barnes began the PPE project when lockdown was put in place (34079563)
Lynne Barnes began the PPE project when lockdown was put in place (34079563)

"I sew alone, but my husband John has been coming in and helping me cut out all the bits so I can put them together.

"I have bought lots of fabric off Ebay - the best is cotton, though you can use poly cotton. I have bought 50m I’d scrub fabric so hopefully will start these next week."

The masks she has made feature a range of colourful patterns and designs, a choice she made because "I think a pretty pattern is cheerful not so clinical, cheers people up when they see them."

Mrs Barnes has started to branch into personal requests, and says the demand is keeping her incredibly busy.

The masks made by Mrs Barnes feature a number of colourful patterns (34079552)
The masks made by Mrs Barnes feature a number of colourful patterns (34079552)

She said:"All my local community have donated £1.50 per mask so I can buy more fabric. I post all the NHS ones to the hospitals at my own cost so every little helps.

"Many people are private messaging me on facebook. It takes ages to reply and bag and post, but I’m working through them the best I can."

If you would like one of Lynne's face masks, she has asked that you message her through the social media platform.

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