Friendly Face Mask image

Founder of Friendly Face Mask Sonia Carley is petitioning for technical and financial support for her unique medical-grade face masks, suitable for both lipreading and use with hearing aids, to be made available for NHS use.

You can view the petition here:

Sonia was inspired by a local request for a lipreading-friendly mask. Despite never having used a sewing machine before, Sonia drew upon her skills as an engineer to achieve a complex design, suitable for both lipreading and use with hearing aids.

Advertisement | Continue story below

She has already supplied over a thousand of the reusable masks, with proceeds from the sales being used to fund the technical development of the Type IIR NHS mask.

Working in conjunction with MHRA, The Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL) and Medilink, Sonia describes getting the masks approved as a “technical minefield” due to a lack of testing standards for this type of mask.

She said: “The government should be assisting the public and the NHS by backing my masks and ensuring that I have the professional and financial support made available to me to enable getting them into use.”

Sonia contacted her local MP for Salisbury, John Glen, notifying him of the masks. Although he shared the products on social media, Sonia says he has has taken no further action to assist her, even after repeated attempts to gain his support.

Describing the inaction as a “huge social injustice”, Sonia is calling on the UK Government to support her technically and financially to meet PPE manufacturing regulations and get the masks into NHS use.

She added that the need for these masks was raised in the Commons without acknowledging her work.

Sonia will now be undertaking an offshore campaign to secure funding to pay for the technical guidance required. She asks why as a single parent, she is having to fund this research for the NHS.

To purchase the masks, visit:

Over 7,000 healthcare professionals stay informed about the latest assistive technology with AT Today. Do you?
We respect your privacy