More than £80,000 has been raised by a University of Hull appeal to fund additional materials to meet high demand for the production of face shields for the NHS and other healthcare organisations in the region.
Over 1,000 donations from businesses, graduates, staff, students and friends of the University have now been made.
The University of Hull has received a very generous donation of £50,000 from a trust fund established by AB Graphic International Ltd, a Bridlington company – which will directly fund 25,000 face shields that will be donated free to NHS and healthcare workers.
More than 90 organisations including NHS, residential care homes and GP surgeries have made contact since the project was launched, requesting a total of 21,500 face shields.
Approximately 14,000 have already been produced and donated for use in hospital, hospices, residential homes, GP surgeries and charities across Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. A further 36,000 are expected to be available to dispatch over the next two weeks.
The campaign will continue to fund the increase in materials needed for the production of the face shield partnership project being led by engineers at the University of Hull.
Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “We are overwhelmed with the crowdfunding response and the very generous donation from the trust fund.
“This donation has already directly led to 3,500 shields being delivered throughout Bridlington to key workers there. It will help us to continue to deliver vital equipment in our region at a time of unprecedented and critical need.
“The way in which businesses, schools, graduates and the University’s staff and students have been supporting this project has been extremely uplifting.
“We are so grateful to all those helping with this project, whether that is donating to the campaign, raising awareness of the availability of this equipment, giving up time to deliver face shields to those in need, or working to produce the shields themselves. Of course, this is vital to protect the healthcare staff who are doing incredible work on the front-line.”
Nathan Brown, senior lecturer in the department of Engineering at the University of Hull and lead on this project, said: “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of everyone that has donated to this project.
“Without this funding we would not be able to support our regional NHS, healthcare workers and frontline staff. The funding has allowed us to secure the necessary materials to produce the face shields.
“Bringing these products to market in such a short time frame would normally be a challenge in its own right. When combined with rapidly evolving certification processes and a turbulent supply chain – while working under conditions imposed by COVID-19 restrictions – it has been an extremely demanding project.
“We hope these products will provide additional safeguards accessible by people in all walks of life to remain safe as we come out of lockdown.”
The crowdfunding campaign has been co-ordinated by the Development and Alumni Relations Office of the University of Hull.
Partners in this project include Advanced Plastics, WHW Plastics and the University’s Aura Innovation Centre, Hull University Business School, as well as school and colleges.
Order face shields for your healthcare organisation here
Donate to support this project here
[Phil Winter – University of Hull]