The Embroidery Barn in Dorchester has launched a campaign to provide protective face masks to its local community.

Rosie Lees, owner of The Embroidery Barn, said: “I work a lot within our community on projects through the business, so one of my contacts in the town council came to me about the lack of PPE we have in the area and it came to me how we can use our business to get this really up and running.

“We have had 40 masks completed already that we have distributed to the local food banks and are due to deliver more to a local care home. We are at the early stages of this campaign, but envisage we will soon have 200 made and distributed.”

Before Easter, the company had also delivered 40 packs – each with enough fabric for five face masks and with full instructions – to makers within its local community to construct the face masks, with a second wave of packs delivered during the last week.

“We haven’t needed to use any of our embroidery and print machines here at the barn – only my little Brother sewing machine,” explained Rosie.

“We’ve been using rolls of 65/45 polycotton fabric we have here, and it’s great for the masks as it has a thick, tight weave!

“However, myself and the two other volunteers running this campaign have created tees that we wear out in the community whilst delivering the packs and finished masks.

Rosie Lees, owner of The Embroidery Barn

“The response we have had has been incredible, we have had hundreds of emails and so much engagement on social media. We are working super hard to keep up with the demand of makers and people needing them.

“We are now also looking for sponsors for fabric as our stock is nearly out. Our town council and local chamber, along with local businesses, have so far sponsored us.

“The decision to start this worthy campaign was an easy one, and the phenomenal response and feedback we are getting is so heart-warming.

“We are helping the people who need it whilst we are in this pandemic, and that’s an amazing feeling.

Follow The Embroidery Barn’s campaign on social media under #masks4all