A seamstress in the ATP workshop in Kehlen works on making a protective mask. By Wednesday some 1,000 masks had been distributed to companies and care homes.
Photo: Ateliers Thérapeutiques et Protégés
Non-profit organisation ATP has started making protective masks in its Kehlen and Schieren workshops following a successful appeal for material.
The Ateliers Thérapeutiques et Protégés (ATP), which provides employment opportunities for people living with a mental illness as part of their psycho-social rehabilitation process, last week launched an appeal for material required to make covid-19 protective masks. Specifically, the non-profit organisation was looking for 7mm width elastic cotton and wadding made of 100% cotton.
“The idea to make masks came from Isabelle Malena, the manager of one of our workshops,” says ATP director Sandrine Bem. They were responding to increasing demand for masks from petrol stations, homes for the elderly, various associations and ATP’s contacts at the ministry of health. “We have a very good culture of hygiene…and we are well informed. So, we said, ‘why not?’” says Bem.
The appeal was launched, and a large rubbish receptacle was placed in front of the ATP facility in the industrial park in Kehlen so that donors could drop off material safely.
Local supermarket chain Cactus also donated its entire stock of suitable elastic cotton and Dupont de Nemours in Contern supplied filters.
ATP seamstress sort the material, which is then washed in a professional laundry in Luxembourg. Prototype mask research was carried out in conjunction with the ministry of health. “We obtained the Afor standard, which is currently available for free, and we manufacture according to its recommendations with a very small but strong and really motivated team,” Bem explains.
Some 25 volunteers from the Luxembourg branch of Lions International were also able to help out with the sewing and assembly. The home-made masks will be quality-control tested and also undergo professional cleaning and disinfection before being distributed.
Bem said that by Wednesday some 1,000 masks had been delivered to care homes, Gulf fuelling stations and the Luxembourger Wort.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to help out the charity’s workers can do so via its online campaign site, which is supported by local celebrities including prime minister Xavier Bettel, graffiti artist Sumo and actress and singer Sascha Ley.