Scotland blesses community with face masks

by Douglas Yates

Face Masks
Photo by Douglas Yates

When the first COVID-19 lockdown was implemented in May 2020, Paisley Stake Director of Communication, Douglas Yates foresaw that a Scottish Government requirement to wear face masks may be imposed on most people as they went about their daily lives.

Using good local contacts, he persuaded six local community organisations, including the Church, to donate funds to allow him to source and purchase fabric, elastic, tape, and thread.

Volunteer Wearing a Mask
One of the sewers modelling one of his face masks. Photo by Douglas Yates.

These were sourced from a Glasgow supplier and purchased as needed over a five-month period. Volunteer sewers were recruited locally, including some Latter-day Saints. Production of various coloured face masks then began. The goal was to produce a sufficient number of good-quality all-cotton fabric face masks that were washable and reusable, at a very modest cost, so making them affordable to all families. The price was set at only £1 for a pack of two face masks.

The face masks went on sale at the end of May and by the end of September, when reduced demand allowed the initiative to be wound down, over 5,000 face masks had been supplied to local families. Money raised through the sale of the masks was donated to three local charities with outreach programmes that help others.

An evaluation of the initiative by the volunteer arm of East Renfrewshire Council judged the face-mask initiative to have been a great success, making a valuable contribution to the community.