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First year textiles student makes PPE from home during lockdown

Article Published: 23 April 2020

Belfast Met first year Level 3 City and Guilds Textiles student Maria O’Prey has been making face masks from home during the COVID-19 pandemic for care homes. As well as being a Mum, Maria works part time at Tesco, and has made face masks for some of her colleagues there - some of the masks were made with cotton sheets and elastic donated by her manager in Tesco.

“The best material to use is 100% cotton which is expensive as we are all volunteers, so people have been very generous and donated towards the costs of making the face masks in different ways.”

Maria started sewing 4 years ago and hasn’t looked back, as she now plans to set up her crafting business once she graduates next year. She talked about not being able to attend classes on campus due to the pandemic, “I love my course and really miss going in to college and seeing my teachers and the other students, especially as I felt I had really got into the creative flow of the course. Though being able to learn online has been a life saver. My lecturers and other students are in regular contact with each other, and there is a good learning plan, as well as plenty of resources which help me to complete my work remotely. The lecturers have been really great at supporting me.”

Maria is currently working on a new batch of face masks using Mary Murphy’s specific and intricate design that is being used all of the group’s sewers, available through the Facebook group Masks 4 All Ireland-Sewists Against Covid-19

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