INSPIRING teachers are continuing to make hundreds of face coverings as part of a quirky and heart-warming initiative to keep people safe.

At the start of the nationwide lockdown, staff at the Stanway School, in Colchester, gave up their time to make scrub bags and ear savers for key workers.

M and more teachers and support staff from the school decided to get involved with the project, and the Not So Secret Sewing Society was then born.

As donations of materials started to flood in, the demand for PPE also soared as a result of short supplies for care workers and hospital departments.

Across the first six weeks, the hardworking team, spearheaded by Melissa Newman and Katie Henderson, produced more than 250 scrub bags, more than 180 ear savers and headbands, and now, more than 400 face coverings.

Recently, the need for the Not So Secret Sewing Society started to wane, following the gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions and decrease in coronavirus cases.

But since the Government decided to make face masks on public transport and hospitals mandatory, the group now has a new project and a renewed vigour.

“Community Mask Trees was started as an initiative on social media,” explained Charlotte Spurr, an English teacher at the school.

“It is volunteer-run stalls providing people with handmade masks, made from donated fabrics and for small donation.


“What was originally a staff initiative has expanded and now others in the community have offered to sew and operate the trees.

“Momentum is really ramping up and today alone over 150 masks were either made or donated during the Sewing Society session.


“So far, the total has reached more than £600, which will be donated to the Trussell Trust and Next Chapter to support them during these tough times.”

To find out more visit