Face shield project moves to The Rockfield Centre

Plastics machine for making the face shields at The Rockfield Centre.

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A project making face shields and masks has found a new home to help keep more people safe from coronavirus.

Oban’s Rockfield Centre read in The Oban Times that Seil Shields on Balvicar was looking for bigger room in a more central location to expand its making process, so it got in touch to offer space in its community huts.

Paul Vukovich who set up the PPE venture with  Brandon Healy and Janine Tannahill gratefully accepted.

Over the last few weeks all equipment and production has moved into the community huts. Due to Mr Vukovich’s ongoing business commitments and project co-ordinator Janine being based in Orkney, the manufacturing will now come under the umbrella of The Rockfield Centre (TRC).

A growing need to keep NHS staff and other essential workers COVID-19 free first prompted Mr Vukovich and his engineer neighbour Mr Healy to start making the shields, based on a design from a friend and former colleague of Mr Vukovich’s called Louie Villaverde in the Philippines.

Mr Healy refined and enhanced the design and it has now been shared with Mr Vukovich’s former colleagues around the world.

A local volunteer has been recruited and trained to take over the production and distribution of the face shields, supported by the other team members.

More than 200 shields have already been donated to NHS staff, GPs, care home staff and other key workers and more are in production for donating to key workers across the wider community.

Morag Telfer from North Argyll Care Home helped give feedback on the PPE to its makers.


Hope’s Catriona Petit receiving PPE from Jen Healy

The visor design means they are comfortable to wear even on long shifts, they do not fog up and  give good head coverage, allowing full movement.

Ms Tannahill  said Seil Shields was delighted to accept TRC’s generous offer of a space for production and was equally thrilled and thankful for the offer of access to funding for materials from the Scottish Government Communities Fund.

‘A special thank you to Lyn Connelly, Customer Liaison and Corporate Event Officer at TRC for her recognition and partnership approach. The project can now move forward with momentum,’ she added.

In addition, face masks are being made helped by donation of materials from Oban’s Wool and Needlecraft Centre.

Homebase Oban and MacQueens Bros Ltd Oban have also generously donated much needed items to help with the project and volunteers from the Rotary Club of Oban have offered to help distribute the shields.

Help is still needed to source large lockable plastic boxes for safe and sterile transportation of the shields.

Anyone who can help should email lyn@therockfieldcentre.org.uk