Following a national call for help (early March 2020) to producing PPE for healthcare workers the Belfast Masonic Charity Fund’s initiated research into the feasibility of producing a range of required products. We quickly identified the usefulness and advantage of 3D printers to producing Face Visors for NHS frontline staff. Our original intent was to purchase several 3D printers to form a production line in our Ballyclare premises but owing to government restrictions and guidelines to isolation and social distancing etc., we redirected our efforts in search of Brethren amenable to work from their home base.
Bro Adam Denny (Gilliland ML 824) having received a 3D printer began his journey into 3D printing and quickly progressed to streamlining changes to the design and improving the quality of product whilst reducing demand of materials, subsequently increasing production and reducing per unit cost. Adam pioneered the birth of our full-time production and with the introduction of a second printer we were able to sustain increased supplies to NHS Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Domiciliary Care, and other community caring groups.
We designed a unique reusable Visor headband which allows for interchangeable Visors thus conserving unnecessary waste and lengthening the much-valued lifespan of the equipment. In total we have supplied 18,800 complete Face Visors in packs of 20 with 15 replacement visors for each pack.
In addition to our in-house production, we secured other sources for supply of Visors, Masks, Medical Gloves and Hand Sanitisers. The Face Visor products which are all locally manufactured and assembled in Northern Ireland received much appreciation from the various front-line beneficiaries, with constant inquiries for replenishment of supplies being met daily.
Finished products were then transported to our Ballyclare base for cleansing, packaging, and labelling for onward distribution. All this was expeditiously acheived due to the scarcity of PPE, to ensure that the courageous and dedicated front-line carers were given the protection that they richly deserved.
Bro Sam Sloan, ML 824 coordinated our network distribution to the various Districts collating feedback and identifying further needs with Bro Gary Sleith ML549 directing a cleansing & packaging team at our Ballyclare base.
We take this opportunity to thank all Brethren who have contributed their time and services as a team effort in demonstrating the spirited enthusiasm and drive of our Order remaining steadfast to what practical achievements Freemasonry can fulfil to benefit the highly commendable front-line key workers for their outstanding services to the entire community.
The labelling reads;
Personal Protective Equipment
the Compliments of