A Salford textiles factory has begun producing face masks and distributing them to local care homes for free.
Daylight Grip & Textiles in Pendlebury usually manufactures textiles for film and TV but since the factory was forced to halt production due to COVID-19, Phil Leonard and his staff have been using their skills and materials by manufacturing thousands of face masks.
The face masks have then been personally distributed by Mr Leonard, who is also a specials police officer, to local care homes, free of charge. The rate of care home deaths in Salford has been particularly high so the extra PPE is very welcome.
The team has also been producing uniform washbags for key workers and adjustable headbands for carers to hook their face masks on and improve the comfort over the course of long shifts.
Mr Leonard, who has been a Specials Sergeant for Bury since January 2019, said: “After hearing about the shortage of face masks for care home staff, myself and my brother – who runs the business alongside me – desperately wanted to do something to help.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported production of protective visors for our frontline staff – thanks to our friends at @SalfordUni, @OfficialUoM and @ManMetUni who have donated thousands of 3D printed headbands for face shields for our frontline staff! pic.twitter.com/h980KGXueO
— Salford Royal NHS (@SalfordRoyalNHS) April 29, 2020
“We realised that we had the materials and equipment to produce the much-needed face masks for carers on the front line; it was just a case of adapting our day-to-day process.
“So far we have only been distributing the masks locally but we recently received a request from a care home in Telford which we agreed to fulfil because the more people we can help the better.
“As soon as a nurse or carer finishes their shift, they can place their uniform into the washable bag ready for an immediate wash when they return home.
“This means that the uniform can be taken home as safely as possible and helps limit the spread of the virus.”
Speaking about the production process, Mr Leonard added: “We have an exceptional team working in the factory who, like us, wants to play their part in helping support our local communities during these challenging times.
“I am unable to go out on patrol at the moment due to recovering from surgery so this is just my way of serving the community and doing my part whilst I am out of action.
“We hope that the masks will enable carers to carry on with their vital work, and we will continue with the production of the masks for a long as they are needed.”
At the time of writing, Salford has 583 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
It has also been reported that nearly 150 people have fully recovered and been discharged from Salford Royal Hospital.