Face Mask Pioneers

Promoting safe facemask use to individuals and communities and providing free masks and coaching to those in need. 

You can be a Pioneer. Take part in our free online 25-minute workshop. We take you through simple to follow safe use guidelines. We give you the tools and resources to share information and distribute masks.


Pioneers open paths for others to follow.


The simple rules that help to keep you safe

What’s the first thing to do before putting on my facemask?

Before you put on your mask, wash your hands for 20 seconds and dry on a clean towel

Does it matter that my mask is a good fit?

Yes if the mask is to do a good job. Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth and is a snug fit to your face

Is it ok to adjust the mask while I am wearing it?

No. Avoid touching the front of the mask you are wearing. If there is COVID in the air it can cluster on the front of your mask. Always handle the mask safely.

How do I handle my mask safely?

Wash your hands before and after touching your mask. Always put it on and take it off by the straps. As soon as you take it off, wash it in hot soapy water or put it in a sealable plastic bag for washing later. NOW, wash your hands.

Why must the mask cover your mouth and nose and be a close fit to your face?

It is so you don’t breathe on others, and there is less chance of breathing in others coughs and sneezes.

Why must you never touch the front of your mask?

Because if there is COVID near you, it can cluster on the front of your mask, so don’t touch it.

What do I do if I need to take off my mask when I am out?

Put the mask in a plastic bag and have a spare mask with you. You’ll need hand gel too.

Facemasks are new, we have to think about

When do I need to wear my facemask?

When you are out of your house, in areas with other people who are not from your household, like buses, trains, shops, schools and workplaces

To use facemasks safely, how many do I need?

It depends what you are doing. Take a spare one, hand gel and a storage bag with you when you go out. If you have three, then you have one to wear, one spare and one in the wash.

Do facemasks stop me catching COVID?

No. They reduce transmission but they can’t stop it completely. That is why it is IMPORTANT not to touch the front of your mask, wash your hands and maintain social distances. Together, this will help to keep us all safer.


References and Further Reading

All the information and guidance we have used in our briefing is based on World Health Organisation guidelines

World Health Organisation

The mask we offer is based on the experience of Thanet Facemasks, a voluntary group that distributed over 10,000 masks to carers in Thanet so it has been tried and tested. The feedback was excellent. The specification is two layers of 100% cotton. This is a good specification.

When choosing a mask there are 3 things to keep in mind

  • Effectiveness of material and design in preventing Covid-19 transmission

  • Breathability (this relates directly to the length of wear)

  • Ease and safety of use


Here are some links to articles on Materials

Best Materials for a DIY Mask

Good article on how virus’s  work and when we need to use masks and other precautions

Peter Tippet MD PhD

An excellent resource on the case for masks and guidance on homemade masks


DISCLAIMER All our masks and guidance provision is based on developing and sharing good practice. The responsibility for using masks remains the sole decision and responsibility of the wearer. 


Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, has helped us to develop the Facemask Pioneers Campaign and provide ‘no sweat’ facemasks to people in need. This is supporting individuals and communities to protect themselves, each other and the environment.