A LOVE of sewing runs in the Buckmaster family.

During lockdown, however, it has become more than just a hobby for Elaine and her daughter Fiona.

Making face masks for charities and healthcare workers is just one of the ways the two women are supporting people in need – both at home and abroad – during the coronavirus crisis.

“Fiona is an optician, and she also volunteers for a charity in Govan called The Food Train, which delivers emergency food parcels,” explains Elaine, who lives in Milngavie.

“She thought, very early on in lockdown, that they should be wearing masks and so offered to make some.”

Elaine, a retired IT manager, smiles: “The response was incredible. I got involved to help - I’m a sewer, always have been and I think maybe Fiona’s love of it comes from me. It just took off from there.”

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Instead of charging for the masks, Fiona and Elaine are encouraging people to donate to charity.

“I have made around 80 so far and have raised more than £500 for Oxfam’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal, helping to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from being pushed into poverty by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Fiona, who lives in the west end.

“I think it’s important to have something positive to channel your energy into during a time of crisis like this.

Read more: Mother's mission to support Beatson after daughter is diagnosed with cancer

“It might be that you’re working on the healthcare frontline, or volunteering, or just checking in with your friends – anything that makes the world a little kinder and less scary.”

Fiona has been working with Vision Aid Overseas, helping them to redevelop their training materials and she recently answered the call to be redeployed within the NHS to boost capacity within COVID-19 assessment centres if required.

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Elaine is an existing ward volunteer at the Beatson, where she also helps in the Wellbeing Centre. Since lockdown restrictions came into force, she has instead turned her hand to helping out on the centre’s hand hygiene station.

“The Beatson is a fantastic place,” she says. “Very few people in the west of Scotland will be untouched by cancer and the Beatson is there to help people get through it. Normally, my role is to chat to people on the wards and in the wellbeing centre, to provide some companionship – maybe brighten their day a little.

“Since the pandemic began, I now help out at the hand hygiene station, reminding everyone to hand sanitise as they enter and leave the Beatson. Volunteering there is very worthwhile – it feels like you are making a difference.”

In the meantime, mask-making continues.

Read more: Cumbernauld dad goes extra mile for the Beatson

“We hope to raise as much as possible,” says Elaine. “We are asking people who take the masks to donate to either the Beatson Cancer Charity, Oxfam’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal or any other charity to which they have an affinity.”

Her daughter sums it up. “Small actions can make big changes,” Fiona says, “and that will help us all get through this together.”