Kyla McCallum and her team in Bromley-by-Bow set up ‘Visors Please’ just two weeks ago and have already started to ship sorely needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) visors to NHS workers including the Royal London Hospital.

1,300 visors have been despatched so far with another 1,000 out the door in the next two days.

Filling in the gaps

‘Visors Please’ was setup by Kyla with the aim of filling in the gaps that the big supplies of PPE kit could not fill.

The visors are based on an open source design from a company called Delve in the US.

“We expected to mainly be supplying district nurses, GPs, care homes, dentists and perhaps undertakers but we’ve had requests from large hospitals and trusts,” says Kyla.

Supplying PPE visors to Royal London

“Last week we got an urgent request from the Royal London hospital as they were about to run out of visors. They are only a 15 minute drive away, so we were able to drop off 300 visors within a few hours.”

“We sent a sample to Bath hospital which has just been approved, so we will start supplying them with visors next week.”

Within 24 hours of starting ‘Visors Please’ had reached it’s initial funding goal of £1000 to make 500 visors.

Within 48 hours it had received requests for over 6,000 visors.

‘Visors Please’ has now raised it’s funding goal to £5,300 and is aiming to make 4,000 visors by the end of next week.

Training for the frontline

Kyla’s brother-in-law, a doctor in Scotland, was being trained for the on the coronavirus frontline but was concerned about the downgrading of PPE recommendations. He mentioned to Kyla that it didn’t sound like certain bits of equipment, like visors, were likely to be provided by the government in sufficient quantities.

How right he was.

Kyla normally works as a paper artist and set designer but all her projects got cancelled or postponed a few weeks ago, so wanted to find a way to volunteer and ‘Visors Please’ is the result.

Working with her is Kyla’s partner who has taken time off from the BBC to help, another designer/maker from Kreis Design who has been cutting the plastic sheets and elastic and sending it over every few days and Pentonville Rubber who has been cutting foam for free and providing it at cost price.

A lady from Glasgow Print Studio found out about ‘Visors Please’ through the Glasgow School of Art alumni network and got in touch a few days ago offering to help and today she started laser cutting the face shields for the next batch which will speed up production.

Donate to ‘Visors Please’

You can donate here on the Making visors for NHS staff and key workers Visors Please GoFundMe page.

If ‘Visors Please’ does not reach it fundraising target it will make as many visors as possible with the money raised. If it exceeds this target it will make even more (permitting the materials are available)!

Any money raised that doesn’t get used will be donated to The Red Cross National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus appeal .

“It’s uplifting to see the kindness of strangers across the country coming together to help!'” says Kayla.

“Something is better than nothing”

Although the design has been approved for medical use in the US and is already being produced there by Ford it is not yet approved in the UK.

Customers who request visors must accept that the design has not been approved and that they will be worn at their own risk. Ideally these people would have certified equipment but as one nurse said, “something is better than nothing.”

East End Enquirer Comment

It restores our faith in humanity to see people like Kyla and her team getting a project like this running so quickly.

Kyla ploughed the money from her own business to get ‘Visors Please’ up and running and the least we can do is donate some cash (lots of cash if you are well off) and get urgently needed visors to where they should be.

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