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A group of five GP practices is providing almost 900 meals for hungry Trafford children by supporting a mask-making campaign that provides food for youngsters unable to receive their ‘vital’ daily school meal in the summer holidays.

Altrincham Healthcare Alliance Primary Care Network, which includes Altrincham Medical Practice, Timperley’s Park Medical Practice, Shay Lane Medical Centre (Drs Kelman, Cranston, Naylor and Pathak), St Johns Medical Centre and West Timperley Medical Centre, is supporting a team of Altrincham sewers who make cloth face masks in exchange for a food or a financial donation for Trafford’s hungry children.

Sue Redford, who is co-ordinating the ‘mask exchange’ from her antiques shop in New Street, Altrincham, explained: “From the beginning of the pandemic I was keen to help support frontline workers. Thanks to an incredible army of dedicated sewers, scrubs, more than 2500 scrub bags and hundreds of masks have been made and distributed to hospitals, surgeries, dentists plus medical units in prison.

“With the demand for masks increasing we decided a ‘mask exchange’ would enable us to benefit a local charity by asking for a donation – in food or funds – in exchange for a mask. As Church Warden of St Mary’s Church, Bowdon, I had experienced the work of The Hideaway charity in Partington which supports the community in providing emergency food boxes for families in distress and provides meals to children for whom school meals are the vital, main staple of their day. With schools shut since March, many children and their families are struggling, and with summer holidays approaching, the need increases.”

The Hideaway charity in has been operating as a ‘response hub’, The Hope Centre, during the pandemic to help the community and with schools closed, has already provided meals for more than 3000 children since Easter.

Clinical Director of Altrincham Healthcare Alliance Primary Care Network, Dr Maz Sangha, of St Johns Medical Centre, Altrincham, said: “We have been so thankful to all those who have provided masks and scrubs to all our practices to date during the pandemic: the generosity has been amazing. Needing several hundred more masks across our primary care network we decided we would like to ‘give back’ to those struggling with other issues during this time and we’re delighted to make even a little difference to feed hungry children in Trafford.”

Part of the army of sewers making masks, scrub bags and sets of scrubs throughout lockdown, are mother and daughter, Marianne and Dina Fusi of Bowdon. Marianne explained: “With a son working in ICU in Whiston Hospital in St Helens, we’ve been especially keen to help – and to keep busy in these worrying times. There’s a wonderful team spirit of everyone involved in sewing, collecting material from kind donors and distributing our creations. I’m delighted the demand for masks will now also make a difference to children who are hungry.”

For those wanting to support the charity, please visit Redford Antiques, New Street, Altrincham to make a food donation in exchange for a mask. Please also see