Inverness College UHI is supporting efforts by a group of Highland designers to create essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS Highland staff dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
A 3D printer, usually used by engineering students at Inverness College UHI, has been loaned to organisers behind the 3D print for Covid 19- Highlands appeal to help the group create vital face shields for local workers in response to a reported shortage of much needed PPE.
A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to raise money to purchase filament and acetate to make the face shields.
Jewellery designer Karen Ann Dicken (pictured), an art and design lecturer at Inverness College UHI, is part of the group, which met with NHS Highland this week to identify the local need.
“We originally came together as a community group on Facebook and we now have between 5 and 10 creatives across the Highlands currently printing face shields for NHS staff.
“As a group, we’re grateful to Inverness College UHI for its support.
“The addition of this much larger 3D printer will mean we can print a greater number of visors more quickly, which is fantastic.
“It’s important we all do what we can to help.”
Ken Gowans, also an art and design lecturer at Inverness College UHI, is also supporting the group by designing and printing instruction manuals to help NHS staff assemble the visors and acetate shields.
Professor Chris O’Neil, Principal of Inverness College UHI, said:
“It is well reported that there isn’t enough PPE for NHS staff, who are risking their lives every day to save others.
“I am incredibly proud of our lecturing staff who have stepped up to help this cause, and that we can support this effort in our own way by loaning this piece of vital equipment.
“As a university partnership, our communities are critical, and we’re determined to do all we can to support them at this time.”
The University of the Highlands and Islands partnership is also supporting NHS services by contributing scientific expertise, laboratory facilities and teaching equipment, while discussions are ongoing regarding use of residences for essential workers, if required.