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Retired Newmarket community midwife raises more than £1,000 for My WiSH hospital charity by sewing face masks

A retired Newmarket community midwife has raised more than £1,000 for a hospital charity by sewing face masks for her friends in return for donations.

Seventy-year-old Ann Fone, who retired in 2014 after welcoming nearly 2,000 babies into the world, little realised that making facemasks out of scraps of material for herself and her husband, retired Burwell postman Trevor, would snowball, leading to a seemingly endless stream of requests for more.

“We sat down and thought that, if this is going to take off, then we will donate all proceeds to charity,” said Ann.

Some of the face masks made by Ann Fone
Some of the face masks made by Ann Fone

“We chose the “My WiSH” charity at West Suffolk Hospital, which I hold dear, as a patient, as well as being employed as a community midwife.

“We put the message out that I would make the masks in exchange for a donation to the charity and I was inundated with requests as well as donations of fabric and elastic from friends.

Ann Fone who has raised more than £1,000 sewing face masks
Ann Fone who has raised more than £1,000 sewing face masks

“To date I have made just over 200 masks and our original goal of £50- £100 target has now reached over £1,000and orders and donations are still coming in,” said Ann.

“This is truly unbelievable and people have been so kind.”

The charity supports Newmarket Hospital as well as West Suffolk Hospital, and the community services they provide. The aim of fund-raising is to enhance the care patients already receive in all aspects of their healthcare including neonatal, stroke, and diabetes.

“I would have liked to return to work,” said Ann, “but then who wants a 70-year-old midwife, so it is my little way of giving something back to the NHS.”

Ann who spent more than 30 years of her career working in the Newmarket area said she was very grateful to everyone who had made donations to the charity andall those who had donated fabric and ‘hard to come by’ elastic.

“And last but not least to Trevor who has not onlybeen my runner and courier but has kept me fed and watered, and turned a blind eye to all the threads and pins strewn all over the floor,” she said.