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College donates facilities to aid NHS training and PPE factory

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 01 May 2020 14:55

A college has revealed it has given over its facilities and some of its equipment to help train NHS staff and make PPE equipment needed in the fight against the coronavirus. 

South Gloucestershire and Stroud College has donated its 3D printing equipment to help create a pop-up factory manufacturing personal protective equipment for NHS staff. 

Stephen Kittner, former head of engineering at SGS College, which has bases in Stroud, Berkeley and Filton, Bristol, has set up a “mini factory” in his garage which as of April 18 had already produced more than 450 visors and distributed them to frontline NHS staff. 

Some of which include Worcester Intensive Therapy Unit, Redditch ICU and Gloucester Hospital. 

“Right now, there is a massive shortage of PPE including face protection equipment; plastic visors, for the NHS. I have joined a nationwide volunteering group of 3D printing enthusiasts to help urgently manufacture parts for protective visors for our NHS. 

“I have set-up a mini factory in my garage, currently containing seven 3D printers, two of which have been donated from SGS College and two have been donated from my current employer, Heart of Worcester College,” said Mr Kittner. 

“Some makers have now reduced production; however, I will continue at full speed whilst needed. 450 visors is a tiny drop in the ocean however, seeing how pleased workers are to receive them makes all of the effort worthwhile.”  

The college also donated its A-Level Centre on its Filton Campus to NHS staff for urgent training in response to the Covid 19 emergency. 

The training is on infection control and manual handling, initially upskilling 150 school nurses with more expected to follow. 

SGS Principal Sara-Jane Watkins said: “SGS has supported the NHS on a number of projects over the last few months as we absolutely value our role as a community college. 

“We are so proud of what Stephen has achieved and will continue to support him and the local community wherever possible.”