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Carn 'visor army’ takes the fight to Covid-19 27.05.20

Spraoi agus Spórt in Carndonagh are playing a key role in the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic by manufacturing laser-cut face shields or protective visors that can be worn by those working on the frontline in community nursing homes, supermarkets, retail and construction businesses across Inishowen.
Using state-of-the-art digital technology available in its ‘FabLab’ they have produced visors that are proving invaluable to frontline workers.
Healthcare workers, from Nazareth House nursing home in Fahan, wearing the protective visors.
A FabLab, or Digital Fabrication Laborator, is a facility where people can turn their ideas into new products and prototypes, using digital design, 3D printers, laser-cutting and other advanced digital manufacturing technology.
Spraoi agus Spórt plan to scale up the onsite production of their protective visors at its FabLab to over 500 per week. This comes as government restrictions are eased for local businesses and the possibility looms of a potential second wave of Covid-19.
As Eamon Durey, Spraoi agus Spórt FabLab Project Manager explained: "FabLabs are underpinned by two key concepts - access to technology that unlocks the ability to produce prototypes and personal items, plus links to a global network of like-minded people. Within hours of the realisation that there was a problem in accessing PPE, makers across Europe and beyond were developing and sharing designs that could be fabricated quickly and cheaply in local community-based FabLabs like ours in Carndonagh.
Importantly, this response has highlighted the ability of agile, local ‘makerspaces’ to meet the needs of their communities not only in times of crisis but also in terms of promoting self-reliance. Indeed, local needs can be best served by local solutions".
Co-founder and CEO of Spraoi agus Spórt Helen Nolan added: “It is clear from the national response to the lockdown that local manufacturing of PPE such as visors has played a critical role in protecting frontline workers within local communities. It is also key that a community like ours in Carndonagh, at the periphery in terms of national and regional infrastructure, has the capacity to respond quickly and directly to local demand rather than finding ourselves at the end of a very long supply chain.
“An example of this is when we recently delivered a consignment of our protective visors to Simpson’s Supermarket in Carndonagh which was warmly received by staff. Indeed, as staff members Caoimhe and Niamh said: “These visors are exactly what we need – and we feel much more protected when we are wearing them. They are also so comfortable to wear and it’s great that they are being produced locally in Carndonagh. Thank you Spraoi agus Spórt!”
Frontline workers, Caoimhe & Niamh from Simpson’s Supermarket in Carndonagh, wearing the protective visors.
The FabLab in Carndonagh plans to produce and distribute more visors to nursing homes, local businesses and frontline workers in the coming weeks. Helen said: “With the easing of restrictions there will be a much greater demand for PPE and protective visors, for example from retail shops, opticians and hairdressers – as well as a continuing need within our healthcare sector”.
The introductory offer for the protective visors manufactured at Spraoi agus Spórt’s FabLab is €5, which includes a visor and four refills suitable for use with the clip-style frame. Spraoi agus Spórt will also donate one visor to a frontline healthcare worker for every visor purchased by a local business.
If you are a local firm, nursing home or other facility who would like to find out more about the face shields / visors or place an order please contact Spraoi agus Spórt on 074 937 3303 or email support@spraoiagussport.ie.
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