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Serial sewers step up to the mask


An HR consultant and former headteacher are just two volunteers putting their sewing skills to best use by making masks for family, friends, local schools and care homes around Hamilton.


Winne McCann and Catriona Mason are volunteers with LEAP’s R:evolve Recycle project who, as soon as lockdown hit Scotland, started making scrubs, scrub bags and gowns. But it is their masks that are making the biggest impact.

Between them, Winnie and Catriona have made hundreds of masks. Catriona has given hers to family, friends and other people in R:evolve. But Winnie has gone one step further and made masks for local schools and care homes, as well as for Rutherglen and Cambuslang Foodbank – one of R:evolve Recycle’s partners.


Both have made masks from donated materials to specifications available on the internet, with Winnie choosing to follow guidance by Patrick Grant from the Great British Sewing Bee.


Winnie said: “I can’t imagine not sewing at any time, and lockdown has given me the chance to do something worthwhile with my hobby.


“I did start making a few along with scrubs bags and other things, but I soon started to get orders and it just grew from there!


“I’ve just been asked for another bundle so I’m never far away from my sewing machine just now, and it’s good that people know their donated materials are going to good use.”


It wasn’t all plain sailing for the prolific pair though, as Catriona explained: “At times it was impossible to find elastic to finish the masks.


“That didn’t stop me though. I just made ties from old T-shirts.


“And I knew my husband would never wear a patterned mask, so I started making different designs for men.”


With demand continuing, Winnie and Catriona intend making more masks, but both look forward to getting back to volunteering with R:evolve.


Winnie, who only joined the recycling and upcycling project last year, said: “While it has been good to so something valuable during lockdown, I do miss being with the volunteers and shoppers at R:evolve.


“Hopefully, we can get back into the shops soon and get back to supporting a more sustainable community for the future.”


If you want to find out more about R:evolve Recycle and volunteering in one of its shops, call 0141 641 5169 or visit

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