Rotary Face Mask project breaks 4,000 barrier

by Nicky

YORK Ainsty Rotarians and their supporters are celebrating after completing their target of supplying more than 4,000 face masks to vulnerable people in city communities during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

Using the experience and sewing skills developed by the Yorkits initiative, many of the volunteer team would normally spend their time producing washable, re-useable, feminine hygiene kits for girls in developing countries, thus keeping the girls in education. Yorkits is one of the ‘flagship’ projects of Rotary York Ainsty (RYA).

3,200 masks produced by members of the Rotary team and 70+ York-based associates, were bulk distributed to more than eleven York-based charities, including The Salvation Army, Home-Start, Tang Hall Community Centre, City of York Housing Services, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, Changing Lives, refugees in the City of Sanctuary scheme, IDAS, York Foodbank and other church sponsored food banks.

In addition, more than 800 masks have been made available to the public at pop-up  stalls in Poppleton, Askham Richard, Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe and Huntington.

The tri-layered, eco-friendly fabric pleated masks are washable (but not of medical grade), reusable and are designed with full-mouth/nose/chin coverage to prevent individual wearers from spreading breath/cough/sneeze droplets when outside eg. in shops or in crowds.  Equally, the masks offer some protection for the wearer’s face from other people’s ‘droplets’. They were made available in three sizes in packs of two.

The masks were distributed free of charge at the point of delivery – all RYA asked was that people considered giving a donation through the JustGiving portal – – or donating directly.

This initiative is just the latest in a long line of community-based projects undertaken by RYA in the area. Others include help and support for Door 84, SpecSort, York Cancer Care Garden and many, many more. Details of any of these projects can be obtained from the contact details below or by accessing the RYA web pages…

“This face mask project illustrates everything good at the heart of Rotary. We are harnessing the talents of Rotarians and our volunteer partners to provide a valuable service that benefits the whole community – and we have had fun doing it,” said Rotary York Ainsty president Martin Simpson.

For further information, quotes, comments regarding this initiative, RYA in general or information as to how to join Rotary York Ainsty, contact Rotary York Ainsty project coordinator Andrew Wordie on 07764 226624, club secretary Dick Powell on 01904 870443 /  07870 544448 or e-mail: Full details of the project can be found on the club’s web-site:


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