Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, both companies and individuals have turned their attention to making PPE and face masks for both those on the healthcare frontline and the public. Here’s a selection either being donated to workers, or raising funds for charities through sales.
• Looking for face masks on sale to raise funds for charities? Here’s our list of 20 or so.
1. Will Bayley designs Rainbow Facemasks to raise funds for GOSH
Will Bayley (main image and above), Paralympic gold-medalist and Strictly Come Dancing star has joined forces with Head Designer on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, Vicky Gill, and clothing manufacturer DSI London, to create a washable face mask for the public to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity), where he received treatment as a child.
Personally designed by Will, the mask features his signature alongside a rainbow. The Rainbow Facemasks can be bought for £9 from the DSI London website. All the profits from the sales of Rainbow Facemasks will be donated to GOSH Charity’s Covid-19 appeal.
Louise Parkes, Chief Executive at GOSH Charity, said:
“Since the beginning of this crisis, the rainbow has been a symbol of hope for the nation – Will is now bringing that hope to children being treated at GOSH with his unique creation. This will help us raise money to support the hospital during this critical time and beyond and for that I want to say a massive thank you.”
2. Former celebrity tailor makes PPE for frontline health workers
Former tailor to the stars Patrick Joseph has turned his hand to designing protective garments for key health workers.
Through the ‘Telling a Story Through Tailoring’ project, Joseph, whose previous work includes designing for the stylists of Cheryl Cole, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams, has adapted the National Lottery funded project to create PPE face masks for those working on the frontline health response to Covid-19, each with their own story. His team of voluntary helpers includes a vintage clothing retailer, a chauffeur and painter/decorator turned designer.
The mask-making project is cross-generational and inclusive, with disabled, vulnerable and socially isolated members creating from home. Those benefitting from the handmade PPE include staff at Clatterbridge Cancer Care Centre on The Wirral.
“Secret messages or words, hidden narratives within my products has always been a fascination for me and it is only the wearer that is aware of this. The uplifting words are the last thing the wearer sees and reads as they put on the mask. The patient sees a friendly fabric print and not just a sometimes-scary surgical mask. These masks are intended to have a positive impact on the makers, the wearer and the patient being cared for. Our masks are also being used at small care homes and by special needs teachers – basically the carers who sometimes get forgotten.”
3. Royal Opera House costume department makes scrubs for NHS workers
Members of the Royal Opera House costume team have volunteered hours of their time and skills to make scrubs for NHS workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.
Between 20 and 30 individuals from across the ROH costume teams, including dressers for The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera, technicians from the Production Workshops, and both the Running Teams, have created a range of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) including scrubs and hats as well as bespoke items such as bags, ear protectors and masks, for Local NHS Trusts and charitable groups across the country.
Working from home using official NHS Trust-coloured and sourced materials from online crowd funding projects, as well as from local businesses and charitable organisations, they have supplied hundreds of items to those who need them on the frontline of the national fight against Coronavirus.
Recipients of this PPE equipment include hospitals, care homes and charitable organisations across London and the South East including Hastings, Middlesex, Dartford, Brighton and Barking, as well as a stock of central line pockets and special bags that hold ‘beads of courage’ for patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to track their treatment and recovery.
Carine Marrot, Ballet Wardrobe Technician and volunteer, said:
“To make myself useful at home, help the NHS and use my sewing skills, I made a set of scrubs, via a local workshop, where they had them ordered. I’m so pleased that they have now been sent and are being used by frontline NHS workers at St Joseph Hospice, as well as in care homes and NHS Trusts in the local area including Homerton Hospital in Hackney.”
4. Freemasons join forces to provide PPE equipment
Freemasons across England and Wales have joined forces to provide essential PPE equipment to care homes to protect the vulnerable and the staff who care for them. By mid-April 5,000 visors had already been produced with help from the Freemasons, who have adapted their businesses production lines to meet demand.
As one example, in just two days, Scunthorpe Freemasons made 1,000 St Lawrence full-face visors to protect carers working for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. The work was done at the premises of Cymarc Engineering, which normally makes components for the rail sector and the motorbike industry.
Company owner Mark Hooton (pictured) said:
“From nothing to 1,000 visors were manufactured, assembled and packed in just two days. I’ve been overwhelmed by the help of volunteers who’ve stepped up to help make this possible. Without them this would not have happened.”
Hooton switched his industrial laser-cutting equipment to producing aluminium frames for his own design of visor in a move prompted by the RMBI, which was looking for visors for staff in its care homes. Within 24 hours, he had created a prototype, and was then supported by other members of his lodge and his staff in gearing up to produce hundreds every day, including sourcing raw materials, establishing logistics channels, setting a production line and defining the product in a document.
Hooton is now supplying 600 visors for the Carers Trust, which had been unable to secure a single visor for its staff due to the national shortage.
5. DisplayMode switches production to face shields
Design and manufacturing firm DisplayMode, which had to pivot its business model to prevent furloughing staff during the pandemic by assisting the production of preventative measures and PPE, is now manufacturing over 50,000 face shields a day.
The clear visor covers the eyes, nose and mouth, and carries the CE marking, approved against EN 166:2002 standard; a requirement for the NHS. The entire operation is not-for-profit, with units charged at cost price.
Some of those who have benefitted from the PPE face shields so far include Wiltshire Police, National Police Air Service and Scottish Air Ambulance, as well as GPs, NHS Trusts, charities, care homes, food manufacturers, retailers, funeral directors and members of the public.
Leon Edwards, Managing Director at DisplayMode, said:
“It’s been a crazy few weeks; we’ve switched from creating point-of-sales displays for the likes of Boots and Tesco, to trying to create as many PPE face shields as possible to help slow down and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Our staff are working as hard as they can to help those on the frontline; we’ve increased the number of shifts that are running a day, and we’re managing to help thousands of frontline workers as a result.”
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