Norwich man’s faceshield project breaks 45,000 mark

Colin Breckons of Frontline Face Shields, wearing a face vizor and holding face shields he has been

Colin Breckons of Frontline Face Shields, wearing a face vizor and holding face shields he has been producing with a 3D printer for carers and keyworkers. With him are some of the volunteers helping him, from left, Richard Herrell, Melissa Keeler, and Trudy and Graham Manning. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A project begun by a Norwich man to make protective face shields out of his garden shed has now broken the 45,000 barrier, thanks to volunteers.

Colin Breckons, has been running the project since March and has been helped by an army of volunteers, businesses and donations to make face shields during the coronavirus pandemic.

But, the project which has now reached 46,500 masks could have ended very early on without the help of Ian Ellis and Amanda Arthurson, who came on board to courier and monitor orders respectively, and deliveries from Alibies Taxis in Great Yarmouth.

Simon Kitchen, who is a director at the taxi firm, took 17,000 face shields and personal protective equipment to have for the Great Yarmouth area. The team also delivered the shields as far as Luton Hospital.

More: ‘They are on 24 hours a day’ - Norwich man 3D printing PPE for frontline NHS staffMr Kitchen said: “We have been dropping them off to people that have requested them.

“We establish the best way to get them to them. It has been a case of delivering out to people or people coming to our office and collecting them.

“We’re in the transport industry available and interested in helping people needing face shields in the local aread. We wanted to do what we could through the quiet times and help out people.”

More: PPE project that started in man’s shed reaches a staggering 10,000 ordersMr Breckons, 34, said: “Everybody started going back to work, it started to break apart we had to go back to normality and we had to stop.

“The solid reliability of Ian Ellis and Amanda Arthurton aided by Albies Taxies has led to us being able to have gone from 17,000 donated face shields all the way to where we are now

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“Starting off in my dear old shed and working all the hours I could alongside so many others gives me real relief that the panic has long since faded and we are able to help schools, community centres and so many more people not just in Norwich but across the UK prepare themselves for what seems to be the new normal, for now.”

More: Norwich PPE project nominated for lockdown hero awardThe project, named the Frontline Faceshields East Anglia group, has also delivered hand soaps, sanitiser across the region to those who needed it.

A surplus of materials, including 6,000 masks, have been kept back to ensure the group are ready to help in the wake of a second wave.

Mr Breckons said: “We want them to be there.

“It really was a rolling stone. I started doing a little bit where people needed some and it grew like a wild fire.

“So many people are ready to help again. I know there is people who are happy to help again to get going if we need to.

He added his thanks to the Freemasons for their donations which has allowed volunteers to continue making shields.