Portsmouth trophy shop helping to make face masks for city's NHS staff

STAFF at a trophy shop are helping frontline NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

By David George
Monday, 13th April 2020, 6:00 am

Victory Trophies in Kingston Road, North End, is going through a quiet trading period due to the store closures and nationwide isolation.

But with a laser cutter in-store, staff were determined to do their part to help those on the front lines.

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Mark Hooper from Victory Trophies. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (181024-6978)

Thanks to designs from the Makers’ Guild, the team is building head strips for the perspex face masks that are being supplied to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Production manager Mark Hooper, who’s worked at the store for 37 years, says it's a privilege to help out in the midst of a crisis.

He said: ‘One of our staff members saw a post on Facebook asking for people with 3D printers and laser cutters to help out with making face masks.

‘Things are quite quiet at the moment so the mahine was just sitting there idle – we were given a design by the Makers’ Guild and got to work.

‘It takes around two and a half hours to make 70.’

Once the head strips are manufactured by Victory Trophies, they are collected by other Portsmouth businesses to complete the face masks.

The face masks for part of the personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended by NHS England, alongside gloves, aprons and eye protection.

Mr Hooper says everyone has something they can contribute during the coronavirus pandemic, and has urged others to step up and play their part.

He said: ‘Whether it’s 3D printing or doing deliveries for vulnerable people, everybody has something they can do to help.

‘On the one hand this is a real learning process for us, on the other hand we can see the impact it’s having at the hospital, and that’s very rewarding.

‘This is something that can directly affect the people of Portsmouth – and that makes us very proud of what we’re doing.’