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  1. ITV Report

Community volunteers in Devon and Wiltshire step up to make homemade PPE for key workers amid the coronavirus crisis

People across the West Country have been stepping up to play their part in protecting key workers by creating and distributing homemade Personal Protective Equipment.

Among them is Marcus Brown, a Digital Making Tutor from FabLab Devon, a digital fabrication workshop in Exeter. FabLab is working alongside a team of local volunteers to 3D print PPE visors.

Marcus says he's been extremely busy since setting up the home production unit.

He says: "The visors take around two hours each to print, so I've been printing non-stop...including printing overnight".

We are working around the clock to produce these visors for frontline staff. There are more orders coming in so our home production unit will continue to be busy.

– Marcus Brown

The visor attachments Marcus is creating are being dispatched to local NHS frontline staff.

A father and daughter from Barnstaple in North Devon have also been crafting the visors. Sam Heaton and his seven-year-old daughter, Rosie, have stepped up to the challenge and have been supplying local Devon doctor's surgeries with the PPE visors.

Sam has raised nearly £5000 to produce PPE for frontline staff. Credit: Sam Heaton

Sam is organising hobbyist 3D printers in his area to produce the PPE for key workers. He is coordinating other volunteers and has raised nearly £5000 through a Facebook fundraiser to facilitate production.

Annette Alchin from Devizes has got a team of people across Wiltshire printing the visors for local frontline workers after an appeal on social media.

Annette says after she advertised the PPE on Facebook she received a huge local reaction. Since, her team has been providing the homemade PPE to pharmacy staff, care workers and local 'Covid-19 support groups' who are out helping the most vulnerable in their community.

She says: "We have orders for hundreds of visors. One care home alone is wanting 110. We have helped many care workers and volunteers and have even received requests from pet shops".

Annette Alchin coordinates a local group of volunteers making PPE for frontline workers. Credit: Annette Alchin

Some of the volunteer printers working alongside Annette include Tom Durnford, Jim Peachey, Stephen Smith and Jon Miles from Wiltshire, all making very valuable contributions.

These amazing 3D printers are giving up lots of time to help the community. I am so very grateful to them all.

– Annette Alchin