Volunteers come together in Rugby to help fight pandemic - The Rugby Observer

Volunteers come together in Rugby to help fight pandemic

Rugby Editorial 24th Apr, 2020 Updated: 24th Apr, 2020   0

VOLUNTEERS in Rugby have come together to produce and deliver more than a 1,000 face visors to nurses, paramedics and care staff.

The Rugby PPE Response was sparked when Dr Keith Edgar, a recently retired GP, volunteered to return to work and met up with Jo Thomas, a teaching assistant at Bilton CofE Junior School,

After hearing Jo had started using the school’s 3D printer to produce visors, Keith enlisted Gordon and Jane Hutchison from Monks Kirby, and Coventry University engineering head Wendy Garner, and the team now produces around 300 visors a week.

And the team at Westside Medical Centre has stepped in to act as the distribution hub to help get the visors to care homes and nurses.




Willy Goldschmidt, chairman of the Friends of St Cross, enlisted further volunteers and supporters who are now helping produce and deliver the visors. The Friends also contributed towards the cost of raw materials.

Keith said: “It has been amazing that from a standing start we have distributed over 1,000 visors into some 30 care settings. Thanks to the Friends we have recruited another five producers and a fantastic donation of visors from Aston Martin.


“We are now ready to launch our website so that we can enlist more producers and better establish the local need.

“Our next steps will be to see what we can do to produce gowns which are in such high demand.”

Kellie Preece, the practice manager at Westside Medical Centre, said her team was proud to play their part.

She added: “Keith is one of our GPs. He is key in all of this. With his drive, enthusiasm and links with local businesses and the Friends of St Cross, this project quickly escalated and through the fantastic links Westside has with other local frontline services, we have arranged for hundreds of the masks to be deployed to services including district nursing, care homes, local paramedics, and The Hospital of St Cross Blood Taking Unit.”

Carl Dibsdale, director of design operations at Aston Martin, said the firm was delighted to help

develop a prototype face visor.

Jane Jennings, domiciliary administrator at the Care Bureau in Rugby, was full of praise for the group which provided her team of carers, who visit the frail and elderly in their homes, with 50 visors.

Friends chairman Willy added: “It has been amazing how the community has responded. We reached out to Lewis Flavell, a lecturer at Warwickshire College in Rugby, who when he was a student, helped us design our current website.

“Lewis kindly volunteered to develop a website for the Rugby PPE Response and it is up and running after just a few days.

“A member of the public contacted the Friends through our Facebook page and offered to make scrubs wash bags for nurses so they can take their uniforms home safely to be washed. We now have 14 stitchers making these bags and a veritable army of supporters standing by when we can source material to make gowns.

Click here rugby-ppe-response.org.uk for further information or here fsx.org.uk to donate to support the Friends of St Cross.

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