Cloth face mask appeal for vulnerable residents

Published: Monday, 3rd August 2020

Are you handy with a needle and thread? Oxford City Council is asking for donations of cloth face masks for vulnerable households as part of the coronavirus response. The masks will be distributed along with other essential supplies the Council is providing for those most in need across the city.

If you have the time and skill to make a few facemasks, or even to organise your friends to a sewing bee to produce a bundle your contribution could make a real difference. If you are all thumbs when it comes to sewing but would like to contribute, the Council would welcome shop-bought washable face masks and donations from any businesses with surplus masks.

How to donate

Unfortunately we can’t accept drop-offs due to social distancing measures.

By post: post them to Locality response hub, Rose Hill Community Centre, Carole’s Way, Oxford OX4 4HF.

Collection: For donations of more than five masks, we can organise to collect; so you may prefer to put together a box of donations from friends and neighbours. Please get in touch by emailing to arrange this.

Need a pattern?

There are hundreds of patterns on the internet. To make it easier we’ve selected these as options for different skill levels, but feel free to use your own favourite. You can hand sew or use a machine if you have one.

A simple pattern provided by Public Health England.

UK sustainable fashion brand Pajotten has provided two free patterns.

The Goodlife Centre has this pattern with tips for making in batches.


All donated masks will be stored for at least 72 hours, as the virus cannot survive this long on surfaces. Reusable cloth facemasks should be washed before wearing for the first time.

“If you can sew a cloth mask, or want to donate a shop-bought cloth mask, please get involved with this campaign. We’re continuing to support a significant number of people due to coronavirus. Adding a facemask to the essential supplies, to those most in need, is a simple way we can take another worry off their shoulders. I hope we’re going to get more masks than we need, so that we can share them with other community groups too.

“Wearing a face mask in shops and on public transport protects other people and is now required in law. It helps us all go about our day at reduced risk from the virus. We want to see as many people as possible in Oxford wearing their masks when they shop or take the bus. If you can, wear a mask to protect others.”

“As someone with disabilities myself, I know that it can be very worrying for those that can’t wear a mask because of physical or mental ill health issues. Our health is often more at risk from coronavirus too. That is why we need the rest of the community to be considerate and to wear a mask. Please be kind, wear a mask.”

Cllr Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities