A TYNEDALE businesswoman is producing home-made face masks, with all proceeds going to a local charity.

Dawn Lloyd, who owns the Iron Lady ironing service in Low Prudhoe, has teamed up with her husband to create makeshift face masks to protect essential workers from the ongoing threat of coronavirus.

The idea stemmed from a conversation Dawn had with her cousin where she was shown how to make a face mask out of tissue paper.

“I have been ordering face masks for weeks now, but after I placed an order, I would get an email saying there weren’t any in stock,” Dawn said.

“I knew I would be able to make my own with washable linen. They won’t offer the same protection as standard N95 respiratory masks, and aren’t capable of protecting someone if they are coughed or sneezed on. But when you are faced with some protection compared to no protection then something needs to be done.”

Dawn’s husband, Tony, is currently out of work due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and has been tasked with creating around 20 masks a day while Dawn continues to run her laundrette business.

“We’re fortunate that, as a laundrette, we are able to stay open, and we’re still seeing a lot of people, including health workers, using the cleaning service.”

However the business isn’t looking to make a monetary gain from the production of the masks.

Instead it is asking for people to donate money to the Miner’s Lamp Cafe and Community Hub in Prudhoe.

So far, the masks have received support from staff at Burn Brae Lodge care home in Corbridge, Helping Hands from Hexham and Robson & Sons butchers in Hexham.

Dawn explained: “The masks can be used by people often around vulnerable people and they also help them from not touching their face all the time.

“Care workers look after our society and they are working without the resources, due to a shortage, so our masks are a short term solution.

“I have had lots of people who work in the NHS and in care come and pick up some masks. It’s great to feel like you’re doing something useful in these current times.

“We all have to work together, anything is better than nothing. And if it makes the customer feel better, that’s what it is all about

“If you can give a little bit back to the community of what you’ve taken out of it, then its a good thing. We must all do our bit.”

For more information, the Iron Lady can be contacted on (01661) 831749 or at www.iron-lady.org.