Blogger: Selina Horshi
March 25th 2020
With the need for PPE apparent, Joanne Doherty of Piece Makers had already converted her gift company into a manufacturer of face shields. Joanne was already shouldering the cost of materials and running the operation alongside balancing her family life including her 4 amazing children.
JCI Derry Past President, Kevin Harley, spotted that JCI Australia had begun sharing laser cutting patterns to make PPE and via social media. He sent a message to our board asking how could we help?
Our members have skills in strategy and business, but not the equipment and tech know how needed, so we spoke to Joanne about how we could support her. Joanne’s knowledge and equipment was essential and JCI Derry aimed to support and enhance her output.
The initial drive was to seek the materials needed – and the hardest part was getting hold of the acetate sheets that form the front face covering of the masks. At this stage much of the world was building PPE, and so these normally readily available sheets were on back order, sold out and unavailable.
March 27th 2020
So we put out a call for donations, hoping that people would have the sheets in their stationary cupboards and be willing to donate them.
We partnered with other organisations to extend reach, and so community, businesses and council came together for an appeal. Junior Chamber Derry, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Derry and Strabane District Council all went out to seek help.
The response was superb and donations came from anonymous donors and individuals as well as…
- CPC Office Supplies
- Dalradian Gold
- Derry Credit Union
- Health and Social Care Board
- Holy Cross College
- Kay Devine
- Kevin Harley Engineering
- Lisneal College
- Photochute Derry
- Seasonal Outdoor Services
- St Cecelia’s
- St Patrick’s Primary School
- Taylor Boyd
- TerraMar Networks
- White Horse Hotel
This list is not exhaustive as many others have donated directly to Joanne and some have chosen to remain anonymous– and every donation is very much appreciated.
Additionally, Declan Leung raised money for 500 face shields with a virtual run fundraiser!
April 15th 2020
In total more than 5,800 sheets were donated…each sheet able to form the front of a face shield. JCI Derry members arranged contactless collection and delivered these back to Joanne of Piecemakers ready to produce shields. In fact, the donations were so large that we were able to share some of the larger donations (with donors’ full consent) with Strabane Academy as their Design Technology Department is also making these face shields for both use in the North West and for Nightingale Belfast.
Meantime, given the volume of donations is became clear that we could also assist in the production of these face shields.
April 16th 2020
Member, Paul Stafford, who usually makes luxury hats (the Season Hats) alongside his PhD at the Ulster University, started doing a shift of laser cutting alternating with Joanne for social distancing. JCI Derry President, Selina Horshi started constructing the masks and the output numbers grew and grew.
The process of making these masks takes time.
· Large sheets of polypropylene plastic are measured and cut down by hand to the size of the laser cutter.
· 3 laser-cut straps are cut to form the head fitting. This involves a computer-based pattern that must be altered to use up the different cuts of polypropylene to minimise wastage.
· Each strap is different and the laser takes time to do the cutting.
· Each strap is then pulled from the laser cut sheet with all holes popped out ready to construct.
· The acetate sheets for the face covering are hole punched to allow attachment to the head fitting.
· Each acetate sheet is curved at 2 edges so no sharp points will become a hindrance to the wearer.
· The 4 mask components are all sterilised with 70% alcohol sanitiser.
· The 3 head straps are fitted together which is a slotting process (and a bit fiddly)
· The acetate face shield is attached the to head fitting using the holes punched previously.
· The faceshields are stacked in large plastic bags to be kept sterile and delivered.
April 23rd 2020
Both production and Delivery is ongoing, but many faceshields have been completed and deliveries have included…
- Aberfoyle Surgery
- Altnagelvin Geriatric Ward
- Altnagelvin Paediatric Ward
- Altnagelvin Radiography
- Altnagelvin Renal Unit
- Carers in the Community via H Sweeney
- Clarendon Medical Centre
- Cornfields Care Centre
- Fintona Carers
- Fold Carers
- Glen Caring
- Greenhaw Lodge
- Hospital Workers via Declan Leung’s fundraising charity run (500 masks funded!)
- H Sweeney – passed to community nurses
- Letterkenny Hospital
- Longfields Care Home
- Oakleaf Surgery
- Omagh Paramedics
- Owen Mor Care Centre
- Paramedics across the North West
- Race Course Road Surgery
- Seven Oaks Care Home
- Shantallow Surgery
- Sion Mills Surgery
- The House in the Wells
- Waterside Clinic and Gransha
- Waterside Western Trust
- Western Healthcare Workers Limavady
1554 MASKS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED SO FAR by Piecemakers with the support of the Junior Chamber
2000 additional donated sheets have been turned into face shields by Strabane Academy
Some of the receiving organisations donated money to fund further production which was very much appreciated.
What Joanne Doherty is doing in our community is very necessary and very appreciated. JCI Derry are proud to have supported and helped.
Joanne welcomes donations to help cover her costs of the additional materials and running costs. Support her at… https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ppeherovisors?utm_id=107&utm_term=kZJqAryYd
As of 14th May 2020
Over 2,500 Face Shields have now been delivered with help protect our frontline, our carers and our key workers. Thank you to all those companies and individuals who donated or bought acetate sheets. Thank you to our JCI Derry members who helped collect the donations, who helped deliver the face shields and even learnt how to make the shields from Joanne at Piecemakers.
Joanne is currently creating face shields for businesses that wish to purchase these for when they can re-open, and JCI Derry are looking towards a new project to help during the ongoing pandemic.