Punchline Business and Community Champion: Cotswold Printing delivers 10,000 visors to the NHS
By Sarah Wood | 5th May 2020
A Gloucestershire printing company more used to producing signage for a range of industries has turned its hand to making visors for the NHS.
The Cotswold Printing Company, based at Waterwells business park in Gloucester, has produced 10,000 visors, with the assistance of volunteers. It has the capacity to take that figure up to 42,000, should a second wave of the virus hit.
That's why Punchline has nominated them as our latest 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.
Adam Soble, managing director of The Cotswold Printing Company, said: "At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we volunteered our manufacturing capabilities to Gloucestershire NHS to provide them with visors to help keep their staff safe.
"We quickly developed a design that was approved by the NHS and we secured enough stock from Europe to manufacture 42,000 units. Although there is an industry-wide shortage of pretty much any optically clear substrate, we managed to secure 5000m2 of stock.
"From here, we started to produce the visor components and appealed for volunteers through community groups on Facebook to assemble the visors. We would make the components, deliver them to our volunteers in sets of 100, then collect them back in and pack them into boxes of 25 to deliver to hospitals. We became the main supplier of visors to Gloucestershire NHS and managed to get ahead of the demand with plenty of reserve stock in place.
"Fortunately the outbreak wasn't as severe as they'd provisioned for and we were stood down after delivering around 10,000 units. We still have around 5,000 sets of components ready to be assembled quickly if a second wave hits the county and material stocks to complete the rest of the 42,000 if necessary.
"Gloucestershire NHS are covering our material costs for this project, which are in the region of 40p per visor. I was shocked to find there are some suppliers now charging £9 per visor at this time of national emergency. I'm incredibly proud of our team and the networks of volunteers who have all given their own time to support us and in turn our health service, using equipment that we purchased last year with the support of the Growth Hub.
"We've also worked with Cotswold Scrubs to cut their scrubs on our cutting machines. They have been able to cut a full set of scrubs in 90 seconds, which has made it much quicker for them to deliver scrubs to the NHS."
Prof. Steve Hams, director of infection prevention and control at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Here at Gloucestershire Hospitals, we have truly valued the team at Cotswold Printing and all they have been doing to support us during the COVID-19 incident.
"The team have been creative, adaptable and responsive in supporting us with increasing the number of face shields for our staff to wear. Face shields are a key part of personal protective equipment and it is reassuring we have a local supply."
Send us your inspiring stories - you don't have to write them, just tell us about them and we will do the rest. Email email@example.com
Punchline's Business and Community Champion Awards are sponsored by:
The Growth Hub Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire County Council
Copyright 2020 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.