Press Release: April 17, 2020
Images are available for download (credit John Ferguson): https://we.tl/t-SfT7XA4vqq.
A group of ambitious Ipswich-based volunteers has taken on the immense task of producing 1,000 face shields a day for local health and care workers. Funded purely by public donations, the core production team of four designers and engineers is supported by volunteers at home who are assembling the shields.
Driven by the ongoing lack of PPE for health workers in the county, the initiative was launched by David Atkins, of 3adesign Ltd, on Saturday 4 April with an initial fundraising target of £ 1,500 to fund the production of 300 face shields a day. However, it quickly became clear that demand was much higher than anticipated. To fulfill the need, the fundraising target has since increased to £3,000, then again to £4,500.
David, who heads up the initiative whilst continuing to run his own business, said: “This project is happening because we want to support as many health and frontline workers as possible in their amazing work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the project progresses, we’re receiving more requests for help; our main concern is that we’re able to meet that demand. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Suffolk people, who are donating through our Just Giving page. We are incredibly grateful, and truly hope more people are able to support us, no matter how small the donation.”
The face shield design has been assessed by those using it and required quality materials are used. The team at the lab cuts sheets to size, then cut the shields from the sheets. After boxing them up with pre-cut visors, cleaning products and gloves, the shields are handed over to volunteers who assemble and bag them up, ready for delivery to health and care workers.
£20 will buy materials to make 60 shields, and a team’s distribution system ensures they reach the people who need them. At the time of writing more than 108 supporters have donated £3,505 via Just Giving.
The shields are produced by using laser cutters at the Ipswich Maker Space lab in central Ipswich, Suffolk. The volunteers hope to set up partnerships with owners of 3D printers offering help, to further ramp up production to 2,000 a day.
So far, assembled face shields have been given to local organisations NHS Suffolk, St Elizabeth Hospice and The Treehouse (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices).
People can donate here: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/facemasksforipswich
Notes to Editor
For requests contact David Atkins: email@example.com
The Ipswich Maker Space is a group of makers who pay a subscription and normally meet up to learn and build with modern and traditional technology.