Our New Project: Face Shields
Thank you so much to everyone who has given into our COVID-19 response fund so far.
We have loved being able to bless many NHS staff and other frontline workers through your generosity. And we are excited to let you know about our latest project which will make your contributions go even further!
As Christians we are called to be part of the answer, and one of the biggest problems the world is facing with the arrival of Covid-19 right now is the overwhelming need for PPE. The sudden need for plastic in this form has been unprecedented and so there are still hospitals, social workers, care homes and many other organisations that have people working on the frontline without ideal PPE or even any protection at all.
So when we heard that it was possible to make face shields that could be appropriately used in many of these services, we wanted to find out more. We managed to identify a template that was supported by the National Society of 3D Printers which is a simplified design that is approved for NHS use. This face shield requires three pieces: specially formed headbands, clear PVC binder covers cut to shape, and a 4-hole punch to make the holes required to fit the pieces together.
The headbands can only be made with 3D printers and thankfully one of our incredible team from Valley Lancaster, Ed Cleasby, was able to help. Using his 3D printer and plastic filament from his own collection, he has volunteered his time and materials to produce the first part of the face shields: the headbands.
Pastor Michele and our local GP Sam Fox then researched and trialled different plastic covers for the front visor, and sourced four-hole punches from people at Valley who were able to lend them out. Through trial and error, the first face shields were completed!
We then needed volunteers to help put them together and to distribute them to where they are needed most. Marie is one of those volunteers and here’s her story:
“When the lockdown started I was struck with flu like symptoms and had to self isolate for two weeks. When I recovered I felt that I really wanted to contribute in the community but did not seem to come across many opportunities. When I moved to Preston three months ago I made a promise to God to serve wherever He would send me. I prayed for God to use me in this pandemic and bring right opportunities my way. A few days after my prayer, Pastor Michele asked me if I was willing to deliver or pick up material for face shields, assist with assembling them and so on. I really needed to get out of the house and become part of the community effort so it was an answer to my prayer! Getting a little busy with these small errands made me more disciplined in my regular work. I have also realized that God uses those who are ready and who make time and space for His work. What a humbling, rewarding experience this has been! It has helped me to see the bigger picture around me and get out of my own microworld!”
Some of these face shields are already being trialled with medical frontliners and social workers and we are so pleased we are able to make a significant difference to people working in these areas.
If you want to help us by resourcing materials then you can continue to give through our People Matter fund.
£20 will supply the plastic to make around 35 headbands for the clear plastic to be fitted onto, to protect the wearer. We are also continuing to bless the staff on the frontline through fabric face masks and ear savers. If you can resource us with fabric, elastic or sewing skills and want to be involved, we would love to hear from you.
Likewise if you have a need or know of one please get in touch by emailing us at [email protected] or speaking to one of the team.