KEY workers on the frontline of coronavirus across South Ayrshire now have an added layer of armour thanks to an Symington man who made a whopping 1,900 face visors.

Neil Spiers, 55, decided to use his equipment, which normally makes wooden ornaments and decorations for his Troon business the Rustic Robot, to create the PPE equipment.

Over the past few months, he has been dropping off at health centres and care homes, including ensuring medical staff at Ayr Hospital were well protected.

Other locations include Ayrshire Hospice, South Ayrshire District Nursing Team in Troon, and Berelands House care home in Prestwick.

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in Ayrshire, Neil decided he could fulfil the growing demand for the essential layer of protection against the virus.

He first reached out to NHS Ayrshire & Arran who were happy to receive the face visors to their Irvine centre to be distributed to hospitals.

At first, he offered the health board a cut price deal on the face visors, but as he began to make more batches, he launched a fundraiser, which has since raised £2,500.

Neil told the Advertiser: “I first made a batch of 300, split between Crosshouse and Ayr Hospitals. I had the machine to make the visors through my business Rustic Robot.

“I had a shop in Troon but it was closing on March 31 because the lease was up.

“I started buying the material in, but I quickly realised we were running out of vital things. I had to go up to East Kilbride to get elastic. And I thought what I will do is put a shout out to see if anyone can donate any materials.

“It just went crazy once I put that post up. I had 20 to 30 messages very five minutes.

“People were offering this that and the next thing. People wanted to give me money to cover the costs. I thought it is only going to get a couple of hundred quid. Now it’s just sitting shy of £2,500.

“It meant we were able to fully fund production of the masks through donations.

“It’s amazing and it’s helping key workers.”

Neil has spent up to 14 hours a day every day, putting the masks together from his Symington home.

He has had help from his two teenage daughters and, his wife Tracey.

Neil added: “It’s more than a full time job, it’s usually 8am to 9pm that I’m at it.

“But it’s nothing to compared to what the key workers are doing.”


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