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Closed 29/08/2020

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£1,041
raised of £1,000 target by 37 supporters

    Weʼve raised £1,041 to Fund the production of urgently needed Washable Face Masks (with Filters) for Care Workers

    Cornwall
    Funded on Saturday, 29th August 2020

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    Story

    Fund the production of urgently needed Washable Face Masks with Filters for Care Workers

    Workers at Scuba Diving manufacturer AP Diving in Cornwall have pulled together in Lockdown to design and produce a washable cotton mask with replaceable Hepa-Flo filters.

    As a company AP Diving have also teamed up with another grass-roots volunteer project - 'Cornwall Scrubs' - a regional hub of the UK-wide campaign ‘For the Love of Scrubs’. https://bit.ly/3d8xaYd

    Now operating under the name Cornwall Masks the small team of volunteer sewing machinists are working from home on their own domestic machines and the masks are collected, steam-cleaned, sealed and distributed by AP’s Marketing Manager Jeff Parker. The team are now supplying masks to front-line workers free-of-charge, as their small contribution to the Covid-19 war effort.

    Our Story

    Jeff taught himself to sew on a £20 toy sewing machine from eBay in the first few days of Lockdown and with the help of some great people on Youtube put together a prototype design. The criteria for the design was that the mask should:

    1. be washable 2. be a universal fit (as far as possible) 3. be comfortable and close-fitting to the face 4. have a Nose Clip 5. have a replaceable Hepa-Flo filter insert (made from Henry hoover bags)

    After a number of frustrating bodges and false starts a design was eventually selected and the first batch of 50 masks were made with the help of AP Diving’s long-standing machine engineer Francis and his wife Sue of Sew-Quick (https://www.sew-quick.net ) in Falmouth, who continue to be fantastically generous and solid in their support of the project.

    They loaned a sewing machine and an over-locker and donated cotton material, which was hand-cut in the hundreds by Sue in that first week.

    The first batch of 50 were distributed to AP staff, family and friends as a “Nominated Weekly Shopper Mask” along with safety instructions, advice on how to make replacement filters and a Disclaimer saying “This mask is homemade and has not been officially tested or approved. Your use of it is entirely at your own risk. The mask is offered in the spirit of goodwill as an improvised alternative where no approved PPE masks are available.”

    Within hours of putting out the email asking AP staff how many masks they wanted, AP’s Barbara “Barbs” Penhall turned up on her way to a hospital appointment. She collected 2 masks and volunteered straight away to climb into her loft to dig out her sewing machine and help out, which she did and has been doing day in, day out without a break ever since.

    Barbs now works in the electronics department of the Inspiration rebreather section of the factory but many years ago worked as a professional sewing machinist for the company, so she knows her way around a machine and quickly offered improvements to the mask design.

    After the first batch they thought that was it, job done. But then, one recipient of a mask, AP machinist Sharon Andrews, said that her husband works for a local Community Care firm and is going to work without protection, as are all their staff. A few more enquiries and the scale of the problem in Cornwall soon became clear. Care Workers in local care homes and community services were desperately in need of PPE. National and local government supplies just didn’t exist for this sector.

    In the following days more volunteers came forward including Sharon and machinist Teresa Smith who had given her “Shoppers Mask” away to her neighbour, another care worker. Barbs' great friend and long-time AP machinist Loretta Tonkin also volunteered, making it a team of 5.

    A process sheet was produced (with the help of Jeff's daughter Jo on camera) and distributed to all the sewers and to Sew-Quick who emailed it out to some of their customers who had enquired about mask-making.

    In the first week of home production they produced 220 masks. The Cornwall Masks team have the potential to ramp this up if they can get more volunteer machinists and more materials, especially the expensive Hepa-Flo bags, the elastic and the nose clips. This is the reason for launching this JustGiving page appeal.

    Teresa hands over a batch of 50 masks to Lee of Penhellis Care.

    AP Diving’s material designer Della Lilley has now joined the team and made further design improvements, working late into the night to re-write the process sheet.

    As of the last week in April, a skeleton crew of 3 people – Della, Jeff and AP’s foreman Kevin Yeo are working in the factory using AP’s industrial flatbed material cutter to cut the mask panels.

    AP's Molding supervisor Steve Drew also volunteered very early on - to "help out in any way he could". Steve is now hard at work hand-cutting Hepa-Flo filters by the hundred in his home workshop.

    On Thursday Francis and Sue from Sew-Quick came through again and generously donated hundreds of metres of cotton material. They are open for business for all your sewing needs during lockdown and would appreciate your support. https://www.sew-quick.net

    On Friday the 1st May, the guys at Tremorvah Industries, the makers of Cornwall County Rugby shirts came up trumps by delivering a batch of wonderful black and gold rugby shirt material. Thanks go to Nick and the guys over there.

    https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/tremorvah-industries/

    As a company AP Diving have also teamed up with another grass-roots volunteer project - 'Cornwall Scrubs' - a regional hub of the UK-wide campaign ‘For the Love of Scrubs’. https://bit.ly/3d8xaYd

    Della plotting the Scrubs' patterns into the Lectra.

    Cornwall Scrubs https://www.facebook.com/cornwallscrubs was started by Annie Lucas a self-employed fashion designer and teacher (https://bit.ly/2WmPTZb) from Mount Hawke who joined up with Jill Weeks and her volunteers at the Exeter University Fashion School in Penryn (https://bit.ly/2VYDfRb ), which is now one of two professional units sewing at NHS spec and providing Scrubs for Treliske Hospital in Truro. Cornwall Scrubs is now extending its Scrubs output to Cornwall Care services.

    AP is providing it’s industrial cutting machines and Kevin and his wife Elaine are working all hours to bulk-cut Scrubs’ panels to be distributed to the 500+ Cornwall Scrubs volunteer home sewing machinists. https://cornwallscrubs.co.uk

    Any funds leftover from this JustGiving appeal once this emergency provision is over will be distributed to NHS staff welfare charities.

    Updates

    11

    • Jeffrey Parker2 years ago
      Jeffrey Parker

      Jeffrey Parker

      2 years ago

      We made the national dive press from May through to July, including the official magazine of the BSAC - SCUBA. Many thanks Simon and Alison...

      Update from the Page owner

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    • Jeffrey Parker2 years ago
      Jeffrey Parker

      Jeffrey Parker

      2 years ago

      The story of both projects was covered in the Scuba Industries Trade Bulletin in May. Thanks Roz.

      Update from the Page owner

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    • Jeffrey Parker2 years ago
      Jeffrey Parker

      Jeffrey Parker

      2 years ago

      Scubaverse coverage back in May. Thanks Dave...

      Update from the Page owner

      Share this update to help us raise more

    2 years ago

    Jeffrey Parker started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 6/22/2020 10.20

    Supporters

    37

    • Bonnie

      Bonnie

      May 15, 2020

      Thank you, Jeff. Amazing work.

      £10.00

    • Marion D.

      Marion D.

      May 10, 2020

      Amazing work by all involved.

      £30.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 8, 2020

      Well Done team AP!!

      £161.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 7, 2020

      Thank you.

      £40.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 5, 2020

      Thank you

    • Tamzin

      Tamzin

      May 4, 2020

      Well done Jeff!! Great project 💗

      £20.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 4, 2020

      £50.00

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    Jeffrey Parker

    Jeffrey Parker

    Cornwall

    Marketing & IT Manager at AP Diving, Helston, Cornwall who manufacture Scuba Diving Equipment.

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