A GENEROUS tailor staged a panic-buying mission with a difference before the coronavirus lockdown.

And Mark Collins' success in stockpiling material means doctors, nurses and carers in Swindon have not had to go without PPE while fighting the pandemic on the frontline.

Mark, who owns The Tailor's Shop in Royal Wootton Bassett, has so far made 400 facemasks for staff at the Great Western Hospital, as well as those working in Bristol, Doncaster and Birmingham.

Some of them feature Marvel superheroes and favourites from Toy Story and Scooby Doo.

Mark told the Adver: “The day the government announced lockdown and that everything was closing I ran out and got as much material as I could to start making masks.

“I thought I could try and do what I could for the NHS and care workers, especially as there’s a shortage.

“I’ve been donating them free of charge for the health sector. I’ve had people donating material so I can keep making them.

"They’re made from two layers of cloth and I’ve done aerosol tests to see if anything passes through, they’re pretty good.”

Tailoring has been in Mark's family for four generations and 10 years ago he decided to open his own shop in the High Street.

Over the years he has made clothing for programmes and films including BBC’s Call The Midwife.

He also works with the Ministry of Defence and Wiltshire Police to make and tailor uniforms.

But the future of his business is uncertain now the country is in lockdown.

He said: “I’m probably okay for the next month or two but then things could get tricky.

“I’m not sure what I would do, maybe apply for a grant from the government or move my store online.”

His main focus for now is just helping those who are risking their lives – and the people of Bassett and Swindon are supporting him.

“The response I’ve received is really positive," he said. "People have sent me pictures of them at work and that’s been nice.

"They just really like the different patterns and prints, they’re cheerful and lift their spirits up, which is nice to hear."

A JustGiving page was made to help fund his donations and so far £820 has been raised.

To purchase a mask for £3 go to www.facebook.com/thetailorsshop