COVID-19: Wicklow bikers go whole hog with fantastic local initiative to deliver face-masks to communities
Big-hearted Wicklow bikers have joined forces with two innovative local women to distribute much-needed face masks to local communities that need them.
East Coast Mask Makers was set up just over a week ago by actress/producer Sinead O’Riordan and Sinead McGuinness, who are both from Enniskerry.
Since then they have produced more than 800 non-surgical masks, which have been delivered in bulk by members of the Wicklow biker community, Bravo Charlie Tango.
Sinead O’Riordan said: “A GoFundMe page was set up to facilitate those who wish to donate and contribute towards fabric costs and postal costs and we reached our goal within 24 hours.
“We are also fortunate enough to have a local Wicklow biker community, Bravo Charlie Tango collaborate with us and deliver bulk orders on our behalf. Honestly, it really has been an amazing community effort. In addition, our local councillor, Melanie Corrigan has helped spread the word on our behalf. We’ve even had orders from California!”
Sinead got the idea for the initiative after she read read an article in The Irish Times regarding the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how one nurse (who spoke of her fears of bringing the virus home to her family. She decided to make some cloth masks for the nurse and for people like her who are risking their lives every day.
The two Sineads immediately set up a Facebook page and established East Coast Mask Makers.
Sinead McGuinness, a graphic designer, designed a logo and took high-quality photos of the beautiful masks produced by some of their colleagues, Sharon Owen and Madeleine De Baireid.
They began reaching out to people and soon managed to recruit 15 local seamstresses – some of them family members or neighbours in Enniskerry.
Sinead Mc Guinness said they have been “inundated with requests”.
She added: “Luckily we have an amazing bunch of seamstresses stretching from Enniskerry, to Swords, to Meath who are fulfilling these orders. People are churning out 30/40/50 masks in one day! It’s truly is amazing and inspiring. We are nearly 300 members strong on Facebook.
“Not everyone has sewing skills but people just really want to help in some manner, be it to source fabric, or be runners on the ground and deliver/pickup fabric etc. Others want to donate fabric and or a few Euro.
“The whole movement really has given people at home a sense of worth and purpose. People now have a way to help and are more than delighted to pull out their sewing machines and get cracking.”
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