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If you’ve been wondering how our wide format printing and reprographic experts have been getting on over the last few months, well, we have a bit of a story to tell! It’s an inspiring one, too, showing just what can be done between teams of determined and resourceful people, forced to work together in new ways in times of national crisis.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the UK in the spring, we were forced to close our warehouse on the evening of Friday 3rd April, subsequently working from home. On Wednesday 8th April, however, we received a phone call from Hal at Create 180 in Greenwich, London.
Create 180 is a group of friends and self-employed creative professionals, including designers, carpenters, artists and metal workers, who design props, sets and costumes for theatre and TV. However, with the industry closed, they had lost all of their work.
So, what happened next?
These inventive people soon got to work on making good use of their newfound time, drawing upon their skills and equipment with a team of volunteers to produce face shields for the NHS.
With the equipment there ready to go and a huge amount of enthusiasm, Hal just needed the film and the funds that the group was raising by crowdfunding.
This was where Prizma Graphics came in. Although our warehouse was closed, we had the Diacel the Create 180 team needed to get started. We therefore opened the warehouse that Saturday morning to enable them to collect the Diacel we had there, with this high-quality clear acetate enabling them to make the first of the face shields.
We subsequently supplied further Diacel acetate, rolls and cut sheets, until – due to factory staff shortages and no prospect of converting more Diacel reels – we changed tack with a different manufacturer of polyester film.
More rolls continued to be supplied to keep up with the team’s incredible turnaround of face shields. And when these supplies were exhausted, we provided a competitively priced end-of-line printable solvent polyester film thereby reducing the cost of the face shields still further.
While the face shields are not medically approved, they have been used by hospital workers as additional protection in conjunction with Class 1, medically approved masks. They also comply with the government’s published guidelines of being optically clear, fog-resistant and incorporating an adjustable headband.
Astounding feats, and all for a great cause
This amazing team of volunteers worked tirelessly to produce more than 15,000 face shields, all paid for by crowdfunding of over £27,000. Once created, the face shields were donated free of charge to hospitals, care homes and carers throughout the UK.
During this tragic time it was heartwarming to know that Create 180, alongside universities, private individuals and companies that had all seen their sources of work disappear overnight, had turned their skills and studios to the task of creating what was desperately needed and in such short supply.
From all of us here at Prizma Graphics, we would like to say a huge “thank you” to Hal and his team. We were glad to help in the small way that we could.
This was a moment in time when our range of products were needed for purposes that they would not usually be intended for. Whatever project you are working on, the Prizma team would be pleased to discuss and source your exact requirements.
Would you like to learn more about the various paper, media and other wide format printing and scanning supplies that could serve your own organisation during these challenging times? If so, you are welcome to browse our generously stocked online store here at Prizma Graphics and call our team today, on 01296 393700.