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PPE project that started in man’s shed reaches a staggering 10,000 orders

PUBLISHED: 12:13 02 May 2020

Colin Breckons wearing a face shield and holding face vizors he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Colin Breckons wearing a face shield and holding face vizors he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A Norwich man who set out to make 100 protective faceshields for frontline workers is to pass the 10,000 mark this week following a surge in community support.

Beside face shields and vizors, Colin Breckons, has also invented the Save Grabber, for safely opening doors, also  made on his 3D printers for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBeside face shields and vizors, Colin Breckons, has also invented the Save Grabber, for safely opening doors, also made on his 3D printers for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Colin Breckons has been making the shields on his 3D printers at home since the end of March, working 24 hours of the day to try and meet demands.

He spoke to this paper at start of April and has now seen his one-man team grow to more than 30, with helpers offering to make, assemble, manage and deliver orders.

Read more: ‘They are on 24 hours a day’ - Norwich man 3D printing PPE for frontline NHS staff

His project, the Frontline Faceshields Norfolk has supported hospitals, care homes and other frontline organisations during the pandemic and could reach 12,000 shields by next week.

Colin Breckons wearing a face shield and holding face vizors he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYColin Breckons wearing a face shield and holding face vizors he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Breckons said; “I started in my shed with a target of 100 and now we’re set to hit 10,000 by the end of this week. It has really morphed into something amazing. It is overwhelming.”

Mr Breckons said he has been amazed by the support from the business community including Wensum Print who produced 2,000 leaflets for free to show people how to fit their masks.

The project was also offered a 1,000sqft office in Duke Street, by Hackspace, to help with growing demand.

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At the office between 10 and 13 volunteers to assemble to faceshields, helping to increase production.

Read more: Teachers make colourful visors for NHS staff to raise spirits of young patients

The father-of-six said: “The house was being taken over and I knew we needed more space.

“What I used to make in a week they [volunteers] can make in a day. I’ve had a steady rotation of volunteers throughout the day assembling, packaging and dispatching face shields all over Norfolk.”

The project has also received thousands of pounds in donations from Masonic Lodges from across Norfolk.

Frontline Face Shields volunteers from left, Paul Cuffley, Richard Bonner, and Paul Robinson, prepping face shields for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFrontline Face Shields volunteers from left, Paul Cuffley, Richard Bonner, and Paul Robinson, prepping face shields for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

NSP Merchandise has also supported fundraising efforts by creating NHS thank-you pin badges, which to date have funded the creation of 1,800 face shields.

The 34-year-old added: “It’s absolutely amazing at the eagerness to help and the attention to quality was amazing everyone really put their all into ensuring everything was perfect.

“All the people who have been affected are the people who are trying to help and giving everything they can.

The full list of businesses supporting the project include Shred Station, Oaklair Packaging, Norwich Hackspace, DDHSS health and safety supplies, NSP Merchandise, Webbage and Wensum Print.

Colin Breckons wearing a face shield and holding face vizors he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYColin Breckons wearing a face shield and holding face vizors he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

If you would like to find out more visit their website, crowdfunding page or search Frontline Faceshields Norfolk on Facebook.


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