A team of volunteers from Worthing has set up a makeshift base at Worthing's Assembly Hall to make and distribute PPE plastic visors to frontline healthcare workers in Sussex.
Joining forces with national volunteer-run project 3DCrowdUK, volunteers coordinated by Transition Town Worthing are helping to plug the gap in PPE supply.
With the support of Adur & Worthing Councils, the team are using 3D printing technology to make and distribute protective eyewear to local hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Sam Bailey from Transition Town Worthing and co-ordinator of the Sussex hub for 3DCrowdUK, said:
“It all began with an email to the Transition Town Worthing Repair Cafe from Keith Colin at Sustainable Sussex asking how we could best put our skills and resources to use during the crisis.
“We considered various options, from producing parts for ventilators to making scrubs and masks. But as the urgent need for eye protection became clear, and we saw how the 3D printing world was rising to the challenge, we jumped at the chance to join the movement and support our local NHS workers.”
From his home in Worthing, Sam launched the operation with four printers, two loaned by Worthing Borough Council's creative hub Colonnade House and another two supplied by members of the community.
He then set about teaching himself how to use a 3D printer having never previously used one. Before long he had printed and dispatched his first batch of 60 3D printed frames to one of the national distribution centres.
Then at the end of April, with the help of Adur & Worthing Councils and a team of fantastic volunteers, an area of Worthing Assembly Hall was transformed into a distribution hub for 3DCrowdUK to serve the NHS in Sussex.
“Since launch, we've assembled and distributed 810 face shields to hospitals and health care centres in Brighton, and we still have thousands more orders to fulfil. We don't see the demand letting up any time soon.”
The project has also been supported by Worthing Community Chest and Worthing Small Change which have helped to fund local efforts, in addition to Design Packaging Ltd, which donated all the packaging materials for distributing face shields to the frontline.
Photos: Sam Bailey using 3D printing technology to make PPE plastic visors