The Story So Far…

“I just wanted to say thank you so so much for making 3D visors for NHS staff. I am a frontline doctor working in GP surgery and in hospitals doing urgent care and last night was the first shift I have been able to get my hands on a visor! Made by your company. This was at Nuneaton hospital and made even more special by the fact that I was born and bred in Aylesbury and went to Aylesbury High School! Thank you once again, I am so grateful to you – God bless you all. Helen”

“Thanks, I look after 9 GP surgeries. Please keep up the work you are doing , it is making a big difference here in the surgeries. Confidence in PPE and ability to see our patients is growing because of the Face Shields.“ Practice Manager, Luton

Just over two weeks ago we were asked if we could print a few visors for our local GP Practice. We gave it a go and within a few days, we were able to send some to the Practice to see if they would do.

It transpired that they would and we were asked to produce a few more. Such was the demand at that moment that we began to get requests from all sorts of organisations working on the front-line of caring from Covid Hubs to Ambulance Cleaners, Care Homes, GP Surgeries and Primary Care trusts.

It was clear that there was an extreme need that was not being fulfilled and we decided we would step into the breach until someone said not to! We set up a web-site and carefully selected a proven design from Sweden.

Aware that Crowdfunders were running a donation based site, we decided that we ought not to be directly competing with them for donations to produce the units but that we would cover our costs in a different way.

The Crowdfunder model suggested a cost of between £2 and £3 per unit and that is roughly the cost we came to – allowing for the amazing team of home-based printers volunteering their time and machines to augment our in-house production. We discovered that the problem was not one of budget but one of speed and distribution. In effect, our model is the same as theirs with the difference that instead of a donor paying for the shield, the budget holder covered the cost.

Of course there are things that are not as they would be in normal circumstances. Although we selected a proven, Swedish design, it does not carry the British Kite Mark and though we have spoken to BSI, they did not advise that we stopped production. Once the crisis is over, if there is a continuing need for the shields, we will obtain the necessary certification. In the meantime, we believed the need to be paramount and until there is clear guidance we will continue to supply under the current arrangements.

Since those first tentative steps two weeks ago, we have now produced over 8,000 face shields and deployed them to protect the care workers in their battle with the Covid 19 virus. Judging by the reaction of the teams that have received them, we believe we have fulfilled and are continuing to fulfil a role that is supporting the herculean efforts of the Care workers of the country.

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