Borders-wide effort sees volunteers helps tackle visor shortages

Hundreds of face-shielding visors are being created in the region this week as volunteers respond to a nationwide call for more personal protective equipment for key workers fighting to carry on during the ongoing coronavirus lock down.

By Kathryn Wylie
Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 1:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 1:17 pm
Ross Hall, Borders Men Sheds development officer, bagging up visors at Galashiels Men's Shed.
Ross Hall, Borders Men Sheds development officer, bagging up visors at Galashiels Men's Shed.

Last week, we reported on staff at the region’s high schools using laser printers to create the potentially life-save equipment for front-line workers during the Easter break.

Since then, staff at Borders College, working from home at the moment, have pledged to make a further 100 face-shields in one week, and members of Galashiels Men’s Shed have begun churning out around 25 shields an hour.

Borders College lecturer Mark Catto and assistant principal Davie Lowe are using 3D printers to produce one complete headband-mounted shield each hour.

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Borders College assistant principal Davie Lowe makes visors at his home in the Borders.

Mr Lowe said: “Our colleague Paul Watson from Eyemouth High School shared an approved open-source programme for creating the headband which allowed us to get these into production.

“Between Mark and myself, we hope to have over 100 face shields produced by the end of the week.”

They will be distributed by Scottish Borders Council.

Meanwhile in Galashiels, men’s shed members have been busy with similar efforts at their cabin in Marigold Drive.

They and school pupils made around 250 visors between them last week, and now well practised in production, the men’s shed members are carrying on that work in earnest.

Shed development officer Ross Hall said: “We are donating these visors for free, and, as a small charity, we are only asking you donate at least £1 per visor as that will help to cover the cost of the raw materials.

“Should you work in any part of the care sector, be it through the NHS, as a care home worker or health visitor, or as a key worker, please get in touch.”

The men are also asking for urgent donations of 12mm or 24mm-wide elastic waistband tape, having run out yesterday.

Visors from the men’s shed can be requested via Volunteer Centre Borders at