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Image: Benchspace Cork Twitter
Image: Benchspace Cork Twitter

Defence Forces supporting Cork’s Benchspace on project to create face-shields

A Cork project to manufacture face-shields for use by carers and health workers has grown to such an extent that the Defence Forces has now come on board to help to assemble and to distribute the shields.

Late last month, Benchspace in Cork launched a fundraising campaign to help its makers to create 10,000 printed face shields for use by carers and health workers using 3D printers and laser cutters.

At this time 35 people with 3D printers had signed up to help manufacture the shields.

Fast-forward less than three weeks later and more than 250 people around the country are helping to print components for the project, with the masks being assembled in Garyduff.

David Scannell from Benchspace Cork said the Irish Defence Forces have now also stepped in to support the project and have added a second assembly site to the original one run by volunteers in Garyduff.

Both of these sites are now processing the 1,000 PPE face shields that its 250 strong volunteer group are printing for healthcare workers each day.

“The project has grown exponentially over the last few weeks from just an idea we had and a few people making them at home to over 250 volunteers printing, packaging and distributing the face shields,” Mr Scannell said.

“We’ve had some amazing organisations come on board to help out such as Blood Bikes, Southern 4x4 Response, UCC, Engineers Ireland and most recently the Defence Forces. It has truly turned into a community project and the success is a credit to everyone involved,” he added.

Mr Scannell said it is anticipated that the Defence Forces will eventually take over the assembly and distribution of the shields. 

Meanwhile, a Go Fund Me campaign set up to initially raise €25,000 for the project, has raised almost €10,000 more than the target.