HSDC Alton’s Engineering department are helping the NHS and key workers by manufacturing NHS-approved COVID 19 face shields for health care facilities and fabric face masks for local care workers.

Over the Easter holidays, the department combined resources with our partner school, Eggar’s, to manufacture between 100-150 shields each day. Production has continued since College started again last week. And, excitingly, last Monday the team reached the incredible milestone of producing 1,000 shields! The majority of the visors have gone to local area hospitals such as Southampton, Basingstoke, Winchester and Alton and GP surgeries. Other recipients include health centres, care homes and funeral directors.

Demand for visors continues, and an additional project has started: to make fabric headbands for key workers whose ears are sore from the elastic on their face masks. The headbands go over their ears, and the mask elastic goes around buttons sewn onto the headband. Old t-shirt material can be used for the headbands but large buttons are more difficult to find, so the team have ingeniously been printing buttons from visor offcuts. So far over 300 buttons have been produced.

Jon Myers, Head of Campus at Alton, said: “Over 1000 visors and counting. This has been a tremendous effort by Barbara and her team and seeing the visors in use really makes this a special achievement. It’s been great to hear from other staff at the campus as well who are involved in producing scrubs and headbands. I am so pleased that HSDC Alton can play its part in supporting the NHS through these challenging times.”