Cork native creates 500 face mask extenders to help healthcare workers all over the country

Cork native creates 500 face mask extenders to help healthcare workers all over the country
Ann Cooke, living in Donaghmede but originally from Dillons Cross has sent out hundreds of mask extenders to frontline workers.

Ann Cooke, originally from Dillons Cross but living in Donaghmede, has handmade 500 of the nifty items to help prevent the irritation caused behind the ears as a result of wearing face masks for hours on end.

With a button at either end, the elastic of the face mask can be hooked around these to alleviate irritation. "I saw the idea on Facebook, on one of the crochet pages I follow and I thought it was so clever so I decided to start making them too," Ann explained.

Face mask extenders handmade by Ann Cooke.
Face mask extenders handmade by Ann Cooke.

"I put the word out there on social media and people started to get in contact."

Ann uses her own supplies and buttons donated to her by friends and family. 

It's been just two weeks since Ann started making the extenders, but thanks to her hard work healthcare staff all over the country have benefited from them, including staff at CUH.

She also posts the extenders out to staff in chemists, blood donation clinics and others who are required to wear face masks for a prolonged period.

Ann, who is making up to 50 extenders in a given day, is humble about her efforts.

One of Ann's face mask extenders.
One of Ann's face mask extenders.

"There's not much else we can do at the moment. This is just my contribution to help out at this time," she said. 

Ann is also at the helm of Knitted Knockers Ireland, a group of volunteers who come together to make a light and comfortable alternatives to regular breast prosthesis for Irish women who have undergone mastectomies.

Established in 2015, the volunteers work from the Donaghmede library, but with the current situation, their work has been temporarily suspended. 

"As soon as the library is open again we will be able to meet up and send out orders.

"In the meantime making the extenders is what's keeping me busy," Ann said.

If you would like one of the face mask extenders, you can contact Ann via her Facebook page:

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