Call for PPE support – Can you help?

The Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and South Yorkshire Integrated Care System have put out a call to support the supply of critical PPE to front line services across the region.

Many of our businesses have already switched production to support this great national effort, for which we are extremely grateful. But we need more help, including:

  • Companies and education establishments with 3D printers, and manufacturers of plastic, to help with the production of visors, gloves, face masks and aprons.
  • Breweries or gin distilleries who can use their kit and alcohol supplies to make hand sanitiser, as well as new 500ml pump dispenser bottles, for use to decant hand sanitiser and for infection control purposes.
  • Textiles companies who can make scrubs and gowns.
  • Manufacturers with machinery and equipment who can still play a significant role in the production of ventilators.

If your business, or any of your contacts can meet the criteria for the above they should contact South Yorkshire Integrated Care System by emailing:

  • Confirming what equipment, they can produce
  • Full contact details
  • Readiness and timescales to make the equipment

More detail on the technical and regulatory standards for Personal Protective Equipment are available here.

If there is anything you think the Local Enterprise Partnership can do to help with this effort let us know. Our Growth Hub service is ready to support businesses from across the region and help them to make sense of and guide them through the support available during this crisis.

It may be that you want to explore Re-Start to Growth – a free support initiative where you will have access to experienced and skilled experts to help assess, plan and restart your business through an agreed programme of intensive support that helps switch supply.

Here, we take a look at how some of our region’s manufacturers are utilising their skills and innovation, as well as donating equipment, and in doing so are making a major contribution to the cause.

Supercar manufacturers engineering ventilator excellence

Supercar manufacturer McLaren of Sheffield is part of a consortium of companies looking to produce 10,000 critical medical ventilators.

The company is using its engineering expertise to design and build ‘end of line’ test equipment to ensure that the ventilator units meet all the specified functional and safety requirements.

McLaren is also manufacturing other key components such as equipment to test the effectiveness of the new ventilators and trolleys to fix them on to when in use in hospitals.

From drainage to ventilation ducts

Over to Barnsley now and drainage manufacturer Naylor’s has been using its expertise to produce ventilation ducts and cable filler for three NHS emergency medical schemes, including the Nightingale hospital in London.

Naylor’s ventilation duct is being installed as part of ventilation and temperature control measures.

Protective face shields for local hospitals

The University of Sheffield’s AMRC has a team working around the clock to rapidly manufacture and assemble essential face shields to help keep Sheffield’s frontline NHS workers safe in the fight against Covid-19.

 Scrubs for frontline staff

Handmade children’s clothing company Bear & Babe, based in Sheffield, is making scrubs for frontline medical and care workers. The company is using its studio, at no cost to the NHS, and has enlisted the help of 10 volunteers as well as their four seamstresses to address the shortage in the health and social care sector.

The business has the ability to cut large amounts of fabric, so they can make more scrubs faster than individual sewers, with volunteers also using their own sewing machines to help speed up production.

Digital community plays its part

Barnsley College has linked up with the Digital Media Centre (DMC) and the Library @ The Lightbox in Barnsley to support Barnsley Hospital and the NHS. The College’s Digital Industries Programme Manager Jessica Lee-Henderson, DMC Manager Tracey Johnson and DMC Makerspace Coordinator Paul Bennett have created a network to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Handmade ear protection

Sheffield businesswoman Alicia Milne of Lissy’s Little Lovely’s produces bespoke gifts for babies and hair bows for girls, which gave her the idea of how she could help the NHS. She started sewing headbands for NHS staff in the hope of helping them protect their ears from bruising and blistering by wearing face masks when working incredibly long hours in full PPE.

Local schools play their part

We are seeing many local schools playing their part. One example is Design & Technology teachers at Bradfield and Chaucer Schools in Sheffield, who are putting their expertise towards manufacturing face shields for NHS doctors and nurses. The face shield is one of the most effective barriers for staff to use when in contact with patients. The schools aim is to make over 1,000 shields in a week; however, they are requesting donations to enable them to purchase the materials including polypropylene sheets and clear acetate, polycarbonate or PVC.