Staff and students work hard to produce protective equipment for those on coronavirus frontline

PUBLISHED: 11:39 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:39 28 April 2020

Simon Marriott, engineering lecturer at the College of West Anglia, has been producing PPE from home with daughter Summer (centre) and son Ryan. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Simon Marriott, engineering lecturer at the College of West Anglia, has been producing PPE from home with daughter Summer (centre) and son Ryan. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

Archant

Staff at the College of West Anglia (CWA) have been producing vital personal protective equipment to keep those on the frontline safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Guy Bridge, work placement and careers co-ordinator at the College of West Anglia campus in Wisbech, models a PPE prototype. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAGuy Bridge, work placement and careers co-ordinator at the College of West Anglia campus in Wisbech, models a PPE prototype. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

With the help of Simon Marriott and Steve Grief, engineering lecturers at CWA, the team dedicated their Easter holidays to produce vital protective equipment (PPE), including face shields, door openers and clips.

The team initially used a design template available to create face shields using laser cutters and 3D printers from the campus to create a prototype.

Since the team began to look at the prototypes in April, they have produced over 400 face shields, 250 mask clips and 150 door openers for care homes, NHS hospitals doctors’ surgeries and other organisations who have key healthcare workers.

Guy Bridge, work placement and careers co-ordinator at CWA’s Wisbech campus who first thought of the idea, said: “The drive to contribute in some way, came from a conversation I was having with a friend who is a teacher, who works at a school where they had recently set up PPE production.

Alan Seeley from the College of West Anglia delivers PPE to Glennfield Care Home in Wisbech. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAAlan Seeley from the College of West Anglia delivers PPE to Glennfield Care Home in Wisbech. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

“We wanted to support the local community and NHS staff in any way we could, and we decided we could use our state-of-the-art equipment to help protect those who are doing such a brilliant job of protecting the general public.”

Glennfield Care Home, Edina Court Care Home and Orchard House Care Home, all in Wisbech, have received over 100 face shields, mask clips and openers, with plans to deliver more in the coming weeks.

Jude Reeve, manager at Glennfield Care Home, said: “The response that the college have made to the COVID-19 crisis has been amazing, and in my 40+ plus years of working in the health and care sector, I have never felt so humbled by the kindness and support extended to us.”

Simon, who was first inspired to help by his sister who works as a nurse on the Amazon children’s ward at Peterborough City Hospital, has been producing mask clips and door openers from home with son Ryan and daughter Summer using 3D printers from the college.

A door opener that the College of West Anglia has made. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAA door opener that the College of West Anglia has made. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

David Pomfret, principal at CWA, said: “I am delighted with the outstanding effort and initiative with which our staff have rallied around the local community, giving up their own time and putting their specialist skills and using state-of-the-art equipment to provide key workers in a variety of healthcare roles with the vital equipment they need to help to protect themselves and others during this unprecedented time.”

CWA is looking to source these materials from local businesses or the general public to increase production of vital PPE:

- Polypropylene sheets which are no smaller than 450mm x 800mm in any colour available and 0.5mm thick

- Acetate A4 sheets, the same as are used on overhead projector screens.

A mask clip that the College of West Anglia has made. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIAA mask clip that the College of West Anglia has made. Picture: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

The team can collect donations from those living in Wisbech and surrounding areas, and donations can be sent by post.

To donate materials or for more information, email Guy.Bridge@cwa.ac.uk or to help buy essential materials to produce PPE, go to https://bit.ly/2Si55G2.


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