Lecturer makes face-shields for care workers in lockdown
The Northern School of Art‘s Middlesbrough campus Course Leader for Interior Architecture and Product Design has been putting his lockdown time to good use by making face-shields for carers working at the front-line of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neil McCormack, pictured above, who can usually be found teaching students at the School’s Green Lane site in Middlesbrough, has continued teaching remotely from his home during lockdown whilst using his skills to support his local community in his spare time.
Over the past few weeks, using a 3D printer he took home from the School with him, he has been making face-shields for local carers.
They include people working for Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland), a home care company operating across East Cleveland and Middlesbrough.
The masks he made have been described as better than the ones purchased by the company.
Neil says: “We use 3D printers all the time in the School, so when lockdown happened I took one home with me so I could make visors to help the local community.
“I then saw the stories about the lack of PPE for carers, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to make some face-shields.
“I have made about 100 and counting so far and distributed them to local care homes and people I know working in care.”
Neil added: “I was told about the work Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) were doing to ensure people could still receive home care during the pandemic and when I offered to make them some shields, they said yes immediately.”
Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) Manager Michelle Jackson said: “The face-shields Neil made are much sturdier than the ones we bought ourselves and we are very grateful for his donation.
“Getting PPE was initially very difficult, so it’s been great to have support like this so our carers, and customers have remained protected during the pandemic.”
Denise Hilton, the Ward manager at the Billingham Grange Hospital has also expressed how beneficial the masks have been: “We had limited stock of the shields so we had to sterilise them after use. The problem was that they had a wide sponge area that took hours to dry. We have been using your product for the last two days and the staff are delighted with them.
“They are very lightweight to wear but very strong. We are caring for patients with challenging behaviours and enduring mental health problems so the durability of the face shields is very important to us. The best thing of all is that they dry extremely quickly.
“The staff have reported them to be very comfortable and I certainly found them to be so when I have worn them so I want to thank you on behalf of us all for your wonderful contribution.”
The process of making the face-shields is a laborious one.
Neil explains: “It takes 11 hours to print four frames on the 3D printer so it’s fair to say my electricity bill is going to be high!
“I order the plastic visor material from eBay and cut them to fit the frames and doing them in batches of ten this takes a further 5-20 minutes.
“I am just glad to have been able to help in this way.”
Neil’s work has attracted press coverage including an article in the Northern Echo at https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18500003.homemade-face-shields-helping-redcar-cleveland-carers/