Corona Covid-19 Virus Emergency Response - March 28th 2020

Starlings Make a 1000 Face Masks Campaign.

As the Corona virus epidemic continues to unfold at a time of national emergency, we here at Starlings Art & Craft Collective in Bexhill have wondered what we can do to help. Now with shortages of supplies in face masks and also with the new governmental directives over the world urging people to wear a mask when going outside we feel that we are ready to act. We have many members who can put their sewing skills to make masks that will be ready to be use by any key workers.

We are fully aware of the debate regarding the effectiveness of a face mask in preventing the wearer contracting the virus, But this is a time of national emergency we believe if we did nothing we may put our loved ones lives at risk. There is growing evidence that a cloth face mask is an effective way by which asymptomatic wearers can help limit their own spread of the virus onto other people. Some governments around the world like Austria, South Korea, China, USA, Vietnam and some municipalities in Germany have issued advice on the need to wear masks in public places. Our own government has not but things can quickly change. We have followed the science as best we can but please read this article in The Lancet to give you some perspective on our decision making. It summarise our two aims in making these masks –

1) to make an emergency face mask to give added protection for NON-Medical  key workers who still work in public places such as carers, bus drivers, shop workers, delivery staff etc and help keep our key workers safe.

2) Help the NHS by taking the pressure of the supply chain for N95 or surgical masks which should be reserved for our NHS frontline staff. 

We have selected the only mask design that when customised by hospitals have passed the US OHSA fit test for the use in hospitals (equivalent to the N95/FFP3 masks). We do not advocate for one minute that these mask will replace the N95 masks but it is the best design we can find. We still advocate first and foremost the government’s own advice on washing hands and social distancing as good positive ways to prevent the spread of the virus. The use of this mask will not guarantee you from contracting the virus.

All we are trying to do is do our bit to help our community during this time of need and help all the key workers who are still working in our public spaces to stay safe. We are offering all of our time for free and we have giving away all the masks for free. If you wish to make any donations to help us with the cost of materials we have a GoFundMe page..

Thank you from all at Starlings Art & Craft Collective.

Click the links here if you are either a Volunteer Maker or a Carer / Key Workers organisation to see more information.