A grassroots community project has raised an incredible £3000 in aid of their production of vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for community-based health and care workers in their first weekend. They are hoping to continue raising around £1000 a day to keep up with the demand for face shields in the local community.
The PPE4Exeter project was launched last week in order to raise money for the materials needed to produce face shields for use by vital community services during the Coronavirus crisis. To date they have distributed over 1200 face shields to a variety of staff working on the frontline.
PPE4Exeter is an agile network of local creatives, engineers, technologists and business innovators who are working together to make and distribute face shields to those who need them most on the front line within the community.
Fronted by Fiona Rourke from Exeter College’s School of Art and Design, PPE4Exeter has teamed up with Andy Wells and Gareth Lambert from the Department for Engineering, Aerospace and Automotive who have also been producing PPE for healthcare settings. They are using their combined expertise to fill the sizable gap in the market occupied by small to mid-range charities and organisations who cannot bid for large deliveries of PPE independently.
Working with 3D printing, laser cutting and injection moulding technologies, the group is currently Crowdfunding to keep the vital supply of materials going. As little as £5 is enough to create and distribute one reusable face shield to help protect a valuable community keyworker.
Alongside Exeter College the team is partnered with Kaleider, University of Exeter, FabLab Devon (Libraries Unlimited), RD&E Innovation Team, Exclusive3D and Preston Street Films to help deliver a target of a further 5000 face shields to the local community in the next 4 weeks.
Exeter College’s effort is widespread. It has already supported the distribution of PPE to local centres, with over 800 lots of safety glasses, facemasks and gloves making their way to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital this month. This was following the announcement that the College is offering accommodation to NHS workers in their Clock Tower boarding house for the duration of this crisis.