An Oswaldtwistle designer is doing her bit in the fightback against Coronavirus by using her skills to make Facemasks for the NHS.

Sophie Birtwell of Springmill Close was able to use her skills as a product designer for Preston firm Kukri to make the masks to help protect her own friends and family members from the spread of the virus.

However, once she started making the masks, Sophie found that other members of the community and even NHS frontline staff were also interested.

She said: "I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to create what I could to support others, whether that be a nurse or a neighbour.

"I created over 20 of my rainbow patterned masks for children respiratory nurses and they have found that the children loved them and felt much more at ease and comfortable amongst all this confusion."

Sophie had discovered through various local Facebook groups that this was a service that the community was particularly in need of.

Since then she has also supplied members of the emergency services with masks including friends of hers who work as nurses and ambulance drivers.

Although demand has steadily grown it is still just Sophie alone, currently on Furlough from her job, who is making the patterned masks.

With production increasing, Sophie is now asking for members of the public to make a donation of £10 per mask to cover costs, and to allow her to produce the protective pieces for NHS staff, free of charge.

Each mask is made using Shield Plus™ anti-microbial material by Panaz fabrics which have been tested against Coronavirus.

Sophie plans to continue making masks for as long as she can and is also planning to channel cash donations to the NHS and to contact Blackburn Hospital to find out what else they may be in need of.

For more information email or find Sophie’s Instagram page at