Since last week, South Devon College is working with the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust at Torbay hospital to urgently produce protective face shields to help protect NHS staff in the fight against the COVID-19 Virus.
This important work has continued over the weekend, with the team working relentlessly to maximise the production of face shields, with each unit taking around an hour 30 minutes to print (varies on the model of printer). Between them, the team have so far produced a fantastic 60 face shields, which will soon be used by front line NHS staff.
On Friday night, Ben Bryant, Senior Lecturer and HE lead for South Devon College Hi Tech & Digital, who is studying a PhD at Plymouth University set up a fundraiser on Facebook to allow friends and family who had expressed a desire to donate money to increase the production of the face shields to do so.
Ben expected to raise a few hundred pounds from the fundraiser, but his heartfelt plea for support struck a chord with a local community of people looking for ways to give their support to the front line heroes delivering care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Sunday evening, the fund had reached almost £6,000. At this point, with support from the team at South Devon College, Ben decided to end the fundraiser in the knowledge that the incredible amount raised could be put to immediate use to purchase materials to allow production to continue. The College’s Finance Team is now supporting Ben in purchasing materials.
Over the weekend the College received an incredible amount of offers of help and support from the local business community. Crispin Associates, Darthaven Marine, Safe Response Ltd, Partington Print and Ecomotus, amongst many others, donating physical resources, time and money.
South Devon College will be donating all face shields created prior to the fundraising activities to the NHS team at Torbay Hospital. With the additional £5,955 raised, the team will be able to produce an additional number of face shields. As well as supplying the team at Torbay Hospital, we have been asked to provide equipment across Torbay & South Devon’s GP Practices. We also plan to support local care homes, offering protection to those looking after some of the most vulnerable within our community.
The team plans to share design files along with their experiences of effective production materials and processes to allow other organisations across the UK with the appropriate technology to support the production of the essential protective equipment more widely.
I am so immensely proud of the work Ben and the team continue to do and the fantastic things they have achieved. I’d also like to thank the local businesses that have joined with us to support our NHS through this unprecedented challenge.
If you would like to speak to the team about how to set up your own production of face shields then contact Assistant Principal and Lead for Hi-Tech & Digital, Steve Caunter, by emailing [email protected]