Innovative Provision of PPE – South Tyneside Council
Posted on 6th October, 2020
Creating visors to boost supplies to frontline works using 3D printers and laser cutter based at The Word in South Shields, using materials donated from businesses and organisations.
As in many areas of the country, Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the residents of South Tyneside, affecting many aspects of life including employment, income, education, physical and mental health, social isolation and mobility. The Council was acutely aware early on in the national lockdown that there was a general shortage of the supply of PPE. While the national effort was based around PPE for NHS Hospitals, many local care homes were struggling to secure supplies of appropriate PPE to keep staff and residents safe. It knew of examples across the country and beyond of ‘maker spaces’ using 3D printers to manufacture face visors. As part of The Word cultural hub it has a Fab Lab which is open for use by the general public; this space contains four 3D printers. At this stage the building was closed, and the 3D printers not in use, so it made sense to find a way to use them to support communities.