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Clip round the ear is boost for NHS staff!

By Alan Beresford

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A BUCKIE couple have been doing their bit to make life for medical staff and carers that bit easier.

George Dawson with one of the earsaver clips. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
George Dawson with one of the earsaver clips. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Maggie Dawson and her husband George have been using their lockdown time to manufacture simple clips which help stop the elastic straps on protective facemasks worn by medical and care staff digging into their ears during long shifts.

Called earsavers, the plastic device fits on the ear with the elastic strap then placed over it and the Dawsons have been giving them away free of charge to healthand care workers who need them.

Mrs Dawson's skills used in running her craft shop Intricate Designs in Cullen – which is currently closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown – were to come in handy, as her husband revealed.

"The clips are actually made by cutting them out of a sheet of plastic using a laser cutter, which normally would be used for engraving and woodwork in the shop," Mr Dawson said.

"Maggie started making a few then soon everyone was wanting one.

"We've made about 900 so far and they've gone all over the place. There's some gone to Seafield Hospital, local care homes and Moray Council carers and we've even sent earsavers as far as Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Liverpool."

While wife Maggie does the production side of things, which can be time-consuming, Mr Dawson, who in normal times runs his handyman business Dod'll Fix It, out his time to good use delivering the clips where they are needed.

The earsavers venture had its originals in another community-minded scheme the Dawsons undertook to try and make the lockdown a little less tedious for the youngsters who would normally attend the nursery facility at the Lady Cathcart Centre. They made and donated a total of 50 woodpacks, containing a range of creative activities including templates to use in drawing or painting.

Helping support these ventures are Buckie and District Community Council (BDCC), whose donations to the ventures has included two sheets of plastic intended for production of the earsavers.

BDCC chairman Kevin Mckay said: "We're delighted to be able to help out with both the clips and the woodpacks.

"The earsavers were, it turns out desperately needed.

"George and Maggie paid for the first lot of woodpacks themselves, which was a fair outlay on their part, so the community council is very happy to be sponsoring the second batch of 50 packs. We've managed to include a whole range of goodies, some generously donated by local firms and others we've paid for.

"The packs have been a great success, we've had parents telling us how delighted they are with them.

"It needs to be said, folk like George and Maggie are the people who make Buckie."

Mr Mckay went on to say that BDCC had received funding to the sum of £5000 from power firm SSE for the express purpose of helping the community cope with the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Buckie Kindness Group have received a grant of £1000 to help with their work in providing emergency and care packages to those who are finding it difficult to leave the house due to lockdown or self-isolation, while the local Salvation Army received a similar sum for their food bank, demand for which has sky-rocketed since the onset of the crisis.

A further £1000 has been apportioned to the community council itself for the purpose of education packs.

The remaining £2000 is open to applications from community groups and organisations in Buckie. For more information, visit the BDCC Facebook page in the first instance.

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