Ann’s masks have made £1,000 for cancer charity, FORCE

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Tuesday 15th September 2020 5:25 am
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Inside Crediton Post Office with Crediton Postmaster Andrew Bayley behind the counter are Ann Thomson, Di Pring and Sue Brown. SR 3268

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STUCK at home in Crediton, shielding because of coronavirus, Ann Thomson began making masks for her family and friends, just asking for donations for the Exeter cancer charity, FORCE.

Ann, who has been sewing since her mother first introduced her to a sewing machine as a youngster, said: “This has been a project that has given me a purpose as I was officially shielding for 14 weeks and, therefore, unable to leave home.

“Early in July I asked at the Post Office in Crediton if they would sell the masks in aid of FORCE as we had been told that by the following week it would be compulsory to wear them in all supermarkets and shops.

“Friends are still buying them and they were still asking for them at our wonderful Post Office on Market Street who have been very obliging and helpful,” said Ann.

She has donated the fancy fabric and the essentials, while two other volunteers - Sue Brown who is Crediton Friends of FORCE secretary and Di Pring, a volunteer like Ann - have donated fabric for the lining which, said Ann, had been invaluable.

As of last Thursday £1,000 had been raised. “I know FORCE will appreciate this because, like all charities, they have had their funding cut and have been struggling,” added Ann.

She lives in Crediton and has been sewing with Yeoford Yarns for seven or eight years, having made a lot of her own clothes and quilts.

Ann said the Post Office had sold nearly 200 of her masks and altogether she has sold almost 300. Andrew Bayley, Postmaster at Crediton, said some people had been buying four or five masks at a time.

Naomi Cole, FORCE community fundraising co-ordinator said that the charity needs £1.7 million each year and with so many fundraising events cancelled since March, they are very grateful to ladies such as Ann and her friends.

Ann said she is now looking at making masks featuring poppies for Remembrance and more with a Christmas theme. However, one of her problems has been finding enough elastic of the right sort. “I bought 10 metres but it was gone in no time,” she commented.

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