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UK businesses and community joined forces to supply visors to protect front line NHS staff

UK businesses and community joined forces to supply visors to protect front line NHS staff

3P set up a community-led production initiative, producing and delivering over 40,000 PPE visors to the NHS and care-worker community across the UK.

After our Managing Director, Tom Bailey, received a call from his sister (a retired NHS nurse but well connected) desperate for help getting visors, we decided to start a community lead visor production project that would lead to thousands of visors being delivered daily to NHS and healthcare workers. 

After this call, we had an initial conversation with the company called 'Masks For Docs' based in California and based on their advice, we pivoted part of our business - 3P innovation - to support Covid19 NHS supply chain by designing and making visors on a not-for-profit basis. Within 48 hours we had shipped finished visors to NHS (Southampton). 

Within 72 hours of announcing the project, over 50 volunteers signed up to help with the innitiative. This grew into an amazing community hub of several hundred businesses and hobby engineers with 3D printing capabilities, who printed visor parts with their rapid prototype machines and shipped them to our brand-new Warwick facility. Throughout production, we worked closely with SolidPrint3D who delivered thousands of visors parts to us from their network of volunteers. 

For distribution, we teamed up with SSC Visor Bikes, volunteers from Midland Freewheelers, Warwickshire Visor Bikes and Orbital Direct for country-wide delivery services.

We are truly amazed and humbled by the number of volunteers who came on board to help not only with the printing, but with assembly and distribution services to support this project. Their support helped the NHS and healthcare workers on the frontline battling COVID-19 receive the correct PPE visors.

In addition, we were able to leverage our long-standing relationships with multinationals who helped us with this initiative. After the purchase and generous donation by Mondelez International of injection moulding tools, we were able to dramatically increase production of the visor parts. Combined with the 3D printing community, we created a supply chain that reached circa 10,000 per week.   

Overall, we have distributed over 40,000 visors to the NHS and healthcare worker community. To support this project and fund the purchase of materials used to make the visors, we began a crowdfunding initiative that raised over £22,000! Senior NHS contacts were very supportive of the initiative and we worked closely with them to ensure NHS standards and expectations are achieved. At the beginning of May, we were accredited to EN166 - the required quality standard for PPE visors. On July 22nd, we received the CE Mark accreditation for our formal visor design. 

We have had some really grateful responses from those who have received visors from this project.

"I just wanted to send a massive thank you for the donation of visors for us to use through our covid-19 charity operations. We are a local charity feeding over 1400 people a week through the crisis as well as providing well-being support, essential items and household goods to local rough sleepers who have recently been accommodated. To know that we are keeping all our Key Volunteers safe while they are on their deliveries and meeting rough sleepers in the community, it is extremely reassuring and we can’t thank you enough for this generous donation. Many thanks for all you are doing to support the NHS and Key workers in the community. Together we really are making a difference. Thank you for all you do." - Lianne Kirkman, CEO at Helping Hands Community Project

"Being protected is vital in the current crisis. The visor was a godsend that made me feel safer when doing my NHS clinics." - Joe Alsousou, Orthopaedic Surgeon
NHS staff at John Radcliffe trauma centre

“The staff team are overjoyed with the delivery of the visors. I have spent much time over the last 4 weeks registering for PPE, especially visors for staff nursing frail and vulnerable residents at this difficult time, and the only delivery has been from yourselves so a huge “thank you” from all concerned. The care of this staff team is of the very best and to be able to provide this PPE is better than winning the lottery!” - Annette Homer, Director of Business Development at the Bournville Village Trust

3P would like to thank all who supported this project, whether that’s through donations, printing 3D parts or delivering the visors.


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