Punchline Business and Community Champion: Kohler Mira make PPE for NHS and Sue Ryder
By Sarah Wood | 6th May 2020
While demand for new showers has fallen during the coronavirus crisis, staff at Kohler Mira in Cheltenham have turned their hand to making masks for the NHS and Sue Ryder.
After designing its own prototype, which was approved by NHS Gloucestershire, the company produced 12,500 face shields in just two weeks.
Sixty three members of staff worked tirelessly to produce the face shields for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust, for staff at both Gloucester Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals.
That's why the company has earned a nomination as a Punchline Business and Community Champion - an initiative backed by GFirst LEP, the Growth Hub, Gloucestershire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
NHS Gloucestershire received 10,000 face shields produced at Kohler Mira's Cheltenham site. A further 2,500 makes were distributed between the company's charity of the year, Sue Ryder, and from its Hull manufacturing site, to Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Craig Baker, managing director at Kohler Mira, said: "In 2021 we will be marking 100 years since we began.
"Over our long history as a company we have faced many challenges, but none quite like the request we received two weeks ago when we were contacted by NHS Gloucestershire. Critically low on face shields, they asked if we could step in to help with our production capabilities.
"Armed with our approved design and an incredible team of volunteers we have so far delivered over 12,500 face shields to frontline local workers in Gloucestershire and Hull, where our manufacturing sites are based.
"We'd like to give special thanks to the volunteers and everyone here at Kohler Mira for turning this project around, and of course express our gratitude to the amazing key workers who are continuing to work tirelessly to protect our nation."
Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire NHS, tweeted: "Thank you to Kohler Mira in Cheltenham for your incredible support of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
"We have now received the 10,000th face shield you have produced for us and we can't thank each and every one of you enough. Your generosity is truly uplifting."
To celebrate reaching the milestone of 10,000 masks, the company produced a special mask with the names of everyone who has helped make them.
In addition to producing PPE, Kohler Mira is also exploring the possibility of manufacturing ventilators to support the government's drive to increase supplies if required. Talks are currently underway with a global engineering services partner as part of a potential collaboration.
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Punchline's Business and Community Champion Awards are sponsored by:
The Growth Hub Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire County Council
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