POPPY masks are flying off the shelves after a Yeadon shopkeeper came up with a way to help people in need while protecting the vulnerable.

Janice Fisher, 63, who runs Sew Quick in Yeadon, has been overwhelmed at the response to her fundraising idea.

Her husband Raymond said:” She has been making masks at the shop since March when she started making masks for the local veterinary surgery. “Unfortunately the shop had to close during the lockdown but she has been making a variety of cloth masks ever since she re-opened in June.

“Soon after she first started making the poppy masks a lady from the Royal British Legion came in to order four masks and Janice asked if she could have a poppy tin on her counter and suggested the £1 per mask donation, The RBL lady thought it was a brilliant idea and as she had a stand in the local Morrison’s supermarket she put a notice there telling customers about the poppy masks being sold at Sew Quick. The next day when her employee Danita came to open the shop she found a queue of people outside waiting to buy poppy masks.”

He added: “ She sold out in half an hour and had to start taking orders and making more.”

She had soon sold 60 and had countless more orders.

Raymond said; “Word got around Yeadon very quickly and everyone wanted a poppy mask. People were coming who had never been in the shop before.”

Janice, who has run her sewing alterations business in Yeadon since 2014, had worked for a while at Montgomery clothing in Leeds, making military uniforms and sewing on the medal bars for soldiers.

Raymond said: “Quite often the soldiers would come from the York barracks to pick up their uniforms after serving in Afghanistan or Iraq and she would thank them personally much to their embarrassment. Poppy day is one her favourite charities because she is very proud of the armed forces, who have risked their lives to serve their country.

He added: “Janice is delighted, surprised and overwhelmed with the response from the locals in Yeadon and Guiseley even though it meant she is exhausted from having to keep up with the demand. She has one part-time employee to assist her. The poppy tin is already full and has had to be replaced with an empty one which we hope to fill from the orders still waiting to be completed.”