AS THE community rallies around to provide as much Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for local health workers as possible, a group of local designers has turned its hand to making specialist face shields, which have been greatly appreciated by SWAH staff.
Already the group from LE Graphics has dispatched hundreds of the protective visors to the local hospital, which SWAH assistant medical director Ronan O’Hare has said are “excellent.”
At the time of writing, David Donaldson and the rest of the team from the design company had raised almost £12,000, with that total growing as donations pour in from the local community.
The money is going towards making PETG Medical Face Shields for front line staff at the SWAH. The group of designers has already made hundreds of shields for the hospital, and is also supplying care homes, medical practices and other local facilities with much needed hand sanitiser.
Speaking to the Herald, Mr Donaldson said he had been ‘wrecking his brain’ in a bid to figure out how he could use his equipment to make vital PPE. He began by purchasing enough plastic to manufacture 600 face shields, which were donated to SWAH.
“Staff desperately need PPE and we have trailed a design for these shields which we are making on our laser cutting equipment,” Mr Donaldson wrote on the group’s Go Fund Me page, which can be found by searching ‘Face Shields for NHS South West Acute Hospital.’
He continued: “Supplies of PTEG plastic are almost completely exhausted throughout Europe and we are trying to raise funds to buy up whatever supplies we can get to make as many of these shields as possible for our NHS heroes.”
Mr Donaldson, expressed his gratitude to his colleagues working to make the shields voluntarily with their business currently closed due to the lockdown. He has been providing regular updates of their fundraising efforts both on the Go Fund Me Page and on Facebook.
In these updates the scale of the community support for the initiative has been clear, with people and groups right across Fermanagh helping with the cause, with many volunteering their time and others donating money or supplies.
In a bid to help increase production St Michael’s College has loaned LE Graphics a laser cutter. “We are extremely grateful for this and it will be really helpful in increasing our production.”
In addition to his work on face shields, Mr Donaldson is volunteering as a motorcycle courier working to distribute urgent medical and pharmaceutical supplies around the province. In this role he has collected and brought additional face shields back for Ward 3 in SWAH.
Among the many donations and offers of support, the Old Portora Union donated £1,200 which allowed the group to buy 150 litres of hand sanitiser for local frontline workers, St Michael’s College have lent the group a laser cutter to help them make the shields, and the Killyhevlin Hotel has donated cases of hand cream, which have since been supplied to staff at the SWAH ED.
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