Essential face visors are being distributed to care homes across the county and beyond, thanks to a grant of £10,000 from Wiltshire Freemasons to St Joseph's Roman Catholic School in Laverstock, Salisbury
St Joseph’s has forged links with other local schools to make over 2,000 re-useable face visors every day. Wiltshire Freemasons are working with the team and assisting in the distribution. An initial 2,500 full face visors are being sent to local care homes in Swindon, Highworth, Purton, Corsham, Trowbridge, Malmesbury and Royal Wootton Bassett.
The school has been supplying staff at hospitals, care homes and shops across six counties with the resources, with sites including Salisbury District Hospital, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, South West Complex Care Services and Watford General Hospital.
Deputy Head Teacher at St Joseph's, Kevin McGuinness, launched the project by moving a plastic laser cutting machine from the school to his home, turning his kitchen into a workshop where visors could be made for 16 hours a day. Within a few days Kevin’s small idea became a big industry, with orders pouring in from hospitals and care homes.
The money from Wiltshire Freemasons is being used to provide vital raw materials, so the manufacture and distribution of this life saving PPE can continue.
The grant from Wiltshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons' charity, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
In response to the extraordinary need created by the coronavirus pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.
Kevin McGuiness said: 'I’m very grateful to Wiltshire Freemasons for giving us the resources to produce this vital protective equipment. It’s especially important that we’re able to supply care homes, which need PPE every bit as much as other healthcare providers. This is vital work and I’m proud that St Joseph’s has taken the lead.'
Philip Bullock, the Head of Wiltshire Freemasons, said: 'I’m hugely impressed with the work that Kevin and the students at St Joseph’s are doing. I’m delighted that the Freemasons have been able to help fund this essential work and get this life-saving equipment out to the care home staff who so desperately need it.'