Across North Yorkshire, businesses, schools, colleges and universities, together with dozens of volunteers have been involved in the manufacture of thousands of clinical face shields for
front-line health and care staff in GP surgeries, hospital wards and care homes.
The visors are worn over the top of face masks together with other pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and help protect nurses, doctors and carers from catching Covid-19 from someone who is infected.
Elsewhere, a number of Facebook groups have sprung up, with hundreds of people making scrubs for healthcare workers and other items of PPE.
NHS North Yorkshire CCG Clinical Chair, Dr Charles Parker, said: “The way communities are pulling together to provide practical support for NHS and front-line health and care workers during this national crisis is extraordinary and humbling.
"On behalf of our GP practices in North Yorkshire I want to say an enormous thank you to each and every one of these community heroes who’s been involved in this effort to make PPE, or volunteer to help the NHS.”
The CCG’s Chief Nurse, Sue Peckitt, added: “Every day I’m seeing examples of people in North Yorkshire going to incredible lengths to support front-line health and care workers in so
many different ways. The community spirit in the county we are lucky enough to call home is something to be treasured and I hope at some point in the future we will be able to formally
recognise and celebrate all of the individuals and groups who are making such a massive contribution at this difficult time.”
There have been several examples of community PPE support in Scarborough.
Scarborough Business Ambassadors and Scarborough South Bay Traders Association (SBTA) joined forces with the town’s University Technical College (UTC) and local volunteers from the business community and RNLI to source materials and fabricate face shields from a template approved by the Intensive Care Unit at Scarborough Hospital.
Local schools supported the initiative, donating around 2,000 acetate sheets used to make the visors.
Eastfield-based companies Legrand and Blue Raptor Signs also stepped forward with raw materials.
To date, almost 5,000 face shields have been manufactured and distributed to GP surgeries in Scarborough, Whitby, Filey and Ryedale, care homes in the area, hospital wards and
Saint Catherine’s with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Scarborough crews helping with distribution.
Some of the visors made in Scarborough are being manufactured in the UTC’s engineering workshop by Rob Shephard, director of engineering at the college, who devised face visors with material from its industry-based sponsors.
John Wallis of Make it Personal, a retailer based in Scarborough’s South Bay and a parent of one of the students at the UTC, is also involved in the manufacturing effort along with Major Tony Viney and retired Emergency Medical Consultant, Andy Volans, supported by other members of the business community.
John Senior MBE, Chairman of the SBTA, praised the “community effort” and said it “shows what can be achieved with a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work.
“John Wallis and his team are doing a brilliant job supporting those who are risking their lives on the NHS front line and I want to thank everyone who has had a hand in this initiative.
“I also want to thank a number of local schools, particularly Lindhead, Scalby Secondary, and Newby and Scalby Primary School who have all dug deep into their store cupboards to locate
acetate sheets which has made a huge difference and allowed us to keep the manufacturing process going.”
Peter Wilkinson, chairman of the Scarborough Business Ambassadors, hailed the “great coming together to help our essential and vital health workers”.
Lee Kilgour, principal of Scarborough UTC, praised Rob Shephard for his extraordinary contribution.
“It has been a big task, and thanks to the help of others, we created a considerable amount of protective gear for healthcare workers,” he said.
CU Scarborough has donated PPE from its stock to help frontline workers at Scarborough Hospital and Saint Catherine's, and face visors and ear savers were delivered to a number of care homes in Scarborough this week.
Scarborough Borough councillor, Neil Heritage, who’s been involved in the initiative, said: “I have been very impressed with how the community have pulled together to help look after the
carers and nurses who are looking after the unfortunate people that the illness has affected and the most vulnerable."
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