A TALENTED seamstress has been busy throughout lockdown by making nearly 1000 cloth face masks for charity.

At the start of lockdown, Madeleine Holder found herself with excess tomato seeds and plants due to her brother’s cancelled trip to Warrington.

She said: “Usually my brother and sister-in-law go to Scotland each year and all in on their way back home.

“He suggested supplying them to the neighbours and I thought it was a wonderful idea.”

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Madeleine, from Grappenhall, sold tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers from her garden in addition to bedding plants.

Warrington Guardian:

She said: “On the first day I made £11 and I was really pleased, within three days it was £100.

“When they announced that masks should be worn on public transport, I decided to start making some from cloth.

“I used to make mine and my children’s clothes but I don’t sew too much anymore.

“In the last few months I’ve been chained to the sewing machine but it has definitely kept me occupied!”

Madeleine started selling the masks for £3 at her garden gate on Stockton Lane – a walking route which became increasingly popular during lockdown.

When she ran out of pots for her plants, she appealed on Facebook for donations or suggestions and was touched by people’s generosity.

She said: “Lots of people have been walking past the house, especially in the good weather and I think it just took off from there.

“I’ve had people message me on Facebook to put orders in too when they saw my posts online.

“I’ve made almost 1000 masks for adults and children so far and have been getting quicker at it, I just followed a couple of patterns I found.”

Warrington Guardian:

Most of the fabric was donated by Charity Aid Recycling Enterprise (CARE) UK, a charity in Warrington and Northwich which Madeleine volunteers for.

CARE UK has a sorting centre in Cockhedge Shopping Centre and helps the town's most vulnerable and refugee families

It has sent more than 50 containers of supplies to refugees overseas and Madeleine herself has been to Greece and Cyprus several times to work in refugee camps and community centres.

She added: “CARE donated a lot of fabric that wasn’t being used in the shop at the moment and I’ve also had donations of Star Wars and Harry Potter fabric which were very popular designs.

“While the pandemic has been an inconvenience for a lot of us, I have still been able to go out on nice walks and live in a nice house.

“There are so many people in Warrington who do not have the money or space to experience that luxury and lockdown has been very difficult for those living in cramped conditions.

“CARE UK is a fantastic charity that helps people in the town and overseas.”

The charity continues to deliver crucial support in Warrington by providing everything from school uniforms and toys to full houses of furniture mainly through donated items.

Madeleine has already raised £3,000 and this will be split between Care UK and Refugee Support EU.

She is hoping to make it to her next target of £4,000.