VOLUNTEERS at a Swindon charity have turned their passion for sewing into a lifesaving effort.

Dressability members have been hard at work sewing hundreds of masks to donate to care homes that are running low on personal protective equipment.

Sharon Tombs said: “PPE is not readily available and there were masks being sold for ridiculous prices, so we wanted to do our bit to make a difference at this difficult time.

“We need to support the people looking after the sick and vulnerable, not try to make money off them. Most of the masks being provided by the government are, rightly, going to hospitals so there are not many left for care homes.

“The charity had to close its doors last week and all our staff are now working from home, so I cut up a lot of the fabric and gave it out for them to make masks.”

So far, more than 400 masks have been sewn and delivered to care homes all over the Swindon borough. Whitbourne House received the first delivery.

Kings Court Care Centre, Home Ground Pharmacy, White Horse Care Trust, Sanctuary Retirement Living, Celtic Care Service, Edgehill Care Home, Freckleton Lodge, Churchview Nursing Home, Ashgrove House and Lansdowne Hill each received boxes full of much-needed supplies.

Lisa Edwards said: "Thank you so much for your kind delivery, it's very much appreciated. The speed, professionalism and kindness was second to none."

The charity is also making bags that care staff can put their uniforms in to prevent any germs from the clothing spreading and contaminating other surfaces before it goes in the washing machine.

Usually, the team of 23 volunteers make blankets for the homeless and clothing alterations.

Sharon added: “We want to help vulnerable people - which is pretty much everyone at the moment - while we’re sat at home.

"We’re all mad about sewing anyway, so let’s put that to good use.”