Homefront industry guards against COVID

Paul Vukovich is making these visors from his home in Balvicar.

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Neighbours on Seil have created their own home-industry to keep NHS staff and other essential workers COVID free.

Paul Vukovich is the former head of an international plastic-making machines company

Paul Vukovich, former head of an international plastic-making machines company, recently settled on Seil at Balvicar Chalets and is putting his time in lockdown to good use – along with some of the chalets’ other residents.

Together they are using their manufacturing, engineering and stitching skills  to turn out visors and face masks from home.

So far the project has donated more than 100 visors and masks to NHS workers, shop workers, the Seil community and even some of the island’s fishing fleet.

Paul’s visor design has been worked on, designed and shared with making-experts around the globe and is being produced to help save lives abroad and here at home in Argyll.

He managed to borrow a machine from his former company Formech and with neighbour Brandon Healy’s engineering experience, the pair have been creating the visors that have already got the thumbs-up from nurses in the Oban area.

‘They can be worn comfortably for 10-12 hour shifts, they don’t fog up, there’s good covering right round the head and whoever wears it still has full movement,’ said Paul, who until coming to Seil spent most of his time working and living abroad between the USA, Far East and Europe.

‘I came to Scotland to spend a few months on holiday and decided to make Seil home. I wanted to do something in lockdown to support my community and to be useful and making these shields are how I can do that best,’ he added.

Making face masks with another neighbour as part of the PPE project has been helped by a donation of materials from Oban’s Wool and Needlecraft Centre.

The trio are now on the lookout for a workspace in the area to gear up production of the visors and the masks.

Paul, who has been self-funding the project, has also offered to give his time to show others, including school IT departments across the region, how to make the visors that could well be needed for another 12 months or longer.

To keep up the manufacturing for now and meet demand, more materials are needed and donations would be welcome.

Anyone interested in helping can email Paul at paul@scicoustic.com