ONE WEEK ago, garden designer Sarah Bicknell from Churt read in the news about a nurse who came off duty, exhausted, and had to make herself a face visor after her long shift because she was scared of unwittingly passing on Covid-19 to the vulnerable patients she was desperately trying to protect.

“I was moved to tears,” she told the Herald. “My young daughter Millie has a rare metabolic condition and an IgA Deficiency which means we have been having to shield her for five weeks. It’s been frustrating watching Covid-19 unfurling before us and not being able to do anything to help.”

A little later that day, while browsing through Facebook, Sarah happened to see a video of someone making a very makeshift face visor from an A4 clear file pocket and a hair band.

She continued: “It was so simple! A seed of an idea grew. I’m normally a garden designer and one of my favourite things is making things. Making something is also easy to accomplish from your home.

“I did some quick research and found a few groups making a slightly more sophisticated version from an A4 acetate, foam and elastic. I started looking at materials online and before long I found I’d ordered a few bits to the value of £200 and thought I’d make a few prototypes to see if it worked.

“Within a couple of hours I’d fired off a Facebook post to put feelers out among my friends to see if anyone was interested in helping me. I had an overwhelming response!”

That evening she set up a Facebook donation page and a GoFundMe page and went to bed. By morning she found she had enough donations to buy materials for 600 visors, and in just a matter of days, a team of 40 volunteers from Churt and surrounding villages have been busy assembling nearly 800 visors.

These have been speedily distributed to more than 20 local care homes – as well as hospitals including the Royal Surrey, Portsmouth and Petersfield maternity and radiotherapy wards, with GPs next on Sarah’s list.

She added: “Thanks to the fabulous generosity of Churt Welfare Trust and many other kind donors, we have been able to order enough materials so we can make a total of 5,000 visors. Incredible to turn this round in five days! Our target now is to make a staggering 20,000 visors for which we now have the infrastructure in place and the capacity for.”

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