Ewe wouldn’t believe it! Orbit customers knit their way to making 4,000 facemask bands for keyworkers

Three Orbit customers have a good yarn to tell about their time in lockdown after they knitted over 4,000 bands for key workers to attach their face masks onto, after nurses and carers complained about ear soreness.

Vera Weaver, 86, Peggy Muir, 83 and Janet Killgallen, 78, have spent the duration of lockdown knitting bands for nurses and carers to wear, so they are able to hook their face masks onto buttons rather than around their ears.

Vera – a former NHS nurse, Peggy and Janet all live at Orbit’s Westholme Court in Bidford-upon-Avon and have always enjoyed knitting. The ladies take part in a weekly ‘knit and natter’ group and prior to making the face mask fascinators, the ladies knitted blankets for children, animal rescue centres and the homeless.

However, once they got word about nurses and carers complaining about ear soreness from their face masks, they set to work and have now managed to knit over 4,000 fascinators and sewn over 8,000 buttons!  Not only have the ladies volunteered a lot of their time, but they have bought the materials out of their own money.

Talking about the impact they have made, Vera Weaver said: “Having worked as an NHS nurse, I wanted to do my bit to help when the coronavirus outbreak started. When I was asked to help knit these bands, I did not hesitate and immediately enlisted Peggy and Janet from my weekly ‘knit and natter’ group at Westholme Court to help too.

“The knitted bands have two buttons, onto which the mask can be fastened, reducing irritation for the nurses and carers. We hope these little bands go some way into helping those key workers who are working so hard during this pandemic.” 

Madeleine Carter, Scheme Assistant at Orbit’s Westholme Court, said: ‘It is fantastic to see Vera, Peggy and Janet doing their bit to help the nurses and carers who are working so hard throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The time, care and attention they have given this project is truly inspiring and I am proud of what the ladies achieved.

“Over 4,000 of these little bands and now been distributed far and wide, to over 90 care homes and have helped thousands of nurses and keyworkers! Keep up the amazing work ladies – you are making a huge difference!”

Westholme Court is an independent living scheme comprising 36 flats and bungalows for the over 55s and is close to all the village’s local amenities.