NOC volunteers manufacture PPE to contribute to frontline Coronavirus response

Staff from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) are contributing to the nationwide effort to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers.

We are pleased to be able to support our staff to volunteer their time and expertise to assist with efforts to provide PPE to support health and care workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Staff from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) are contributing to the nationwide effort to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers as part of a UK-wide drive to provide vital kit to help keep NHS and care home staff safe as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Colleagues from across the NOC have pooled their extensive engineering expertise and retooled their workstations to enable the production of face shields to help protect key health workers who are in daily direct contact with people suffering with the virus.

Working in partnership with local non-profit organisation So Make It, as of Tuesday 14 April, the NOC team has so far helped produce more than 1500 3D-printed face shields at a rate of around 250 per day, which have already been donated to frontline workers at Southampton General Hospital and Solent NHS Trust. Discussions are ongoing with care homes as to how this activity can assist them in the days to come as the UK approaches the peak in COVID-19 infections.

Looking to the future, the team is discussing moving on to producing other pieces of protective equipment, depending upon need and how they can deploy their facilities to the greatest effect. Until then they will keep the 3D printers running at full speed.

Ed Hill, Chief Executive at the NOC, said: “We are pleased to be able to support our staff to volunteer their time and expertise to assist with efforts to provide PPE to support health and care workers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Where we have capacity to contribute towards this effort – whether through our people, facilities, and equipment – we shall continue to do so as far as. possible. I’d like to thank all of those involved in this initiative, and others like it, for their tremendous community spirit and drive during these challenging times.”

Ed Chaney, Operations Engineer for the NOC’s Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems team and Trustee at So Make It, said: “At So Make It we saw that the maker community was mobilising 3D printers to help support the NHS and care workers and we wanted to contribute. We’re incredibly grateful for the volunteers and the support NOC has given us, enabling us to have a far greater impact than on our own.”

If any organisation or individual is in a position to provide raw materials (such as 3D print filament and elastic) or logistical support to help with this effort they should email the team at So Make It (ppe@somakeit.org.uk) or see their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SoMakeIt

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