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Mask making marathon

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Mask making marathon

OVER 15,000 face coverings have been made by volunteers in Annan.

Newstart Recycle, based at the Provost Mill, were prompted into action at the start of the pandemic when a young mum appealed for help after facing paying £100 to kit out her family with face coverings.

Since then they have made and distributed thousands of masks as well as bottles of hand sanitiser.

Tony Nisbet, of Newstart, explained their efforts to ensure everyone had access to equipment to keep them safe was part of their challenge poverty ethos, as all the protective gear is handed out for free.

He said: “We have 15 or 16 volunteers, we call them our sewing team, and they have made over 15,000 masks.

“One lady alone has made 2000.

“They’ve also made wash bags for nurses.

“They’ve been taken to the day centres in Annan, Langholm, Gretna and Ecclefechan, as well as to Eastriggs, Lockerbie, Lochmaben and Moffat.

“We’ve given some to local businesses that have needed them and also the school, about 800 have gone to the academy.”

While the masks have been able to be provided free of charge, Newstart has been met with increased costs to purchase material, elastic and cotton while being unable to generate income.

One snag has been getting elastic for the ear loops, and Tony explained reels started off at £5 but quickly jumped to £70.

Luckily, they managed to source plenty at the original price.

They have also rented a new premises for their warm winter clothing store.

From tomorrow, the Provost Mill on Queensberry Street will be open for people to get free coats, jackets, gillets, boots, jumpers and more.

They have a wide range of items for children and adults.

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