Northumberland College producing vital PPE visors for frontline NHS staff

Northumberland College has responded to the urgent need for personal protection equipment by producing face shields for health care workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 4:45 pm

Electrical engineering lecturer Freeman Thondhlana has been working around the clock at Ashington Campus to manufacture PPE after the college offered use of its 3D printers to Northumberland County Council.

They will also be distributed to the Northumbria and Wansbeck Hospitals to keep front line staff and patients safe during the outbreak.

Freeman, who has manufactured 70 visors so far, said: “Northumberland College is an important part of the community so when opportunity presented itself to produce the visors I did not hesitate to volunteer.

Electrical engineering lecturer Freeman Thondhlana has been working around the clock to manufacture PPE after the college offered use of its 3D printers to Northumberland County Council.

“It’s an honour to give my knowledge, skills and time to the local community for a worthy cause. I hope manufacturing the visors, no matter the scale, will inspire our community and most importantly help relieve some of the stress our health care system is facing.

“I also want to show our students that all industries are as important as each other and can work together.”

Coun Wayne Daley, cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “I applaud the team at Northumberland College who are reaching out to help during this crisis.

“It is wonderful to see schools and colleges rising to the challenge to create this vital equipment for people on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Their efforts to make protective equipment and help keep key workers safe are just extraordinary.”

Northumberland College's 3D printer.

In response to a phenomenal and unprecedented need for equipment the government has provided 761 million pieces of PPE across the UK’s hospitals, hospices, care homes, home care providers, GPs, pharmacists and dentists since the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes 158 million surgical masks and medical visors.

With a continuing surge in demand, universities, colleges, schools and community volunteers have joined with the manufacturing industry to produce additional PPE for front line workers and carers.

For more information about Northumberland College and its extensive range of courses, visit the next open event or ring 01670 841 200.

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The PPE visors in production.

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The visors made with a 3D printer.

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