UCD Purl Jam’s Mask-Making Project
UCD Purl Jam, UCD’s craft group co-run by School of Veterinary Medicine Student Adviser Dr Niamh Nestor and School of Science Student Adviser Catriona Keane, have undertaken a mask-making project during the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea came from Prof Torres Sweeney from the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine who had been asked if she knew anyone that could make masks for a nursing home in Blackrock, Co Dublin. The nursing home staff had to start wearing PPE including surgical masks, and they noticed that the nursing home residents were becoming increasingly anxious and frightened by the look of the surgical masks. The staff thought that if they could wear some colourful masks over the surgical masks, this might help to alleviate any anxiety.
UCD Purl Jam put the call out to their members who got to work immediately. Some locals around UCD also heard about the project and took part. An unexpected obstacle was finding fabric and bias binding in the middle of a pandemic, but, as it turned out, some members had fabric and bias at home; others donated fabric and bias, and luckily for the group, Aldi had started to sell some of its 100% cotton fabric ‘fat squares’ which were perfect for the task. A few weeks ago, the group delivered its first batch of almost 100 masks to the Blackrock nursing home. Since then, they have delivered masks to other nursing homes around Dublin and various disability services, and they have also donated masks for inclusion in care packages for medical staff.