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JCB steps up visor production to help local hospitals

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Hospitals across North Staffordshire have taken fresh deliveries of special protective equipment being made by volunteers at JCB.

JCB reopened part of its World HQ in Rocester so Tooling and Moulding Engineers Joe Mumby, 22, and Joe Bagley, 25, could volunteer to make medical grade visors for NHS staff on the company’s 3D rapid prototype machines. They have now been joined by another colleague Wayne Reddin, 39, of Blythe Bridge, to help boost production for NHS workers who need the vital PPE supplies.

Now around 150 have been delivered to delivered to Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (MPFT) Cheadle Hospital for use by Trust staff in Staffordshire and the Royal Stoke University Hospital by JCB employee and volunteer delivery driver Mike Poxon – just hours after he had 13 stitches in his hand after a weekend accident with a chain saw. At the Royal Stoke the visor donations will go to the Short Stay Unit and the Cardiology team.

Among those receiving the visors was Royal Stoke Hospital Ward Clerk Natalie Keeling, who works on the COVID Ward at the Royal Stoke Hospital. Natalie, of Cheadle, whose husband Gary is a JCB assembly line employee at JCB’s World HQ said: “It’s just amazing what JCB and the volunteers are doing to support our hospitals. We have to wear a clean visor on each shift to help maintain and promote excellent practice for infection prevention and the possible spread of the virus. These visors are invaluable to us as a team and are helping us to fight the Coronavirus and offer us security and reassurance.”

Dawn Shaw, Assistant Facilities Manager at MPFT, added: “We’re very grateful to the volunteers and JCB for this very kind donation. We have been bowled over by the generosity of local businesses and communities during this time and we would like to say a huge thank you.”

Mike Poxon, 56, of Upper Tean, near Cheadle, whose wife Lorraine is a Senior Staff Nurse, added: “It’s great to be helping the NHS in our community, particularly as I needed the brilliant services of the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Royal Stoke Hospital at the weekend after cutting my fingers while using a chain saw to cut down a tree in the garden!”

The visor production project started when JCB Principal Electronics Engineer James Morley, 43, converted the garage at his home in Belper, Derbyshire, to produce vital supplies. Inspired by his efforts, JCB re-opened its Innovation Centre at the World HQ so production could start there on a volunteering basis.

Joe Mumby, of Hilton, Derbyshire and Joe Bagley, of Ashby de-la-Zouch, have also delivered visors to surgeries in the Rocester and Uttoxeter area with the help of material donated by the JCB Academy. For Joe Mumby, volunteering to produce the vital NHS kit took on a poignant significance as he and his family came to terms with the death of his father’s cousin from Coronavirus in April.

Above: Senior staff nurse Amy Blake (centre), receptionist Carol Scragg (left) and caretaker Leigh Hodgkinson take delivery of visors at Cheadle Hospital, made and delivered by JCB volunteers.