A TYNE Valley engineering firm has stepped up to during the coronavirus pandemic and provided hundreds of pieces of Personal Protective Equipmentv(PPE) to hospitals, care homes and community healthcare teams across the North-East.

Red Engineering, an award-winning engineering and technology company based in Hexham, has utilised its 3D printers to create visors for the NHS and other healthcare providers.

The company has one of three 3D printers in the town that have been pressed into helping the efforts to overcome the virus, alongside ones operated by Dave Preston and Cameron Jamieson, who owns The Laundry Gallery.

Red Engineering’s office manager, Lindsay Lowes, explained that the company had been able to work quickly to fill gaps in the supply of PPE.

She said: “It’s not something that we do, but we have a 3D printer so we joined the army.

“We’ve made over 500 plastic visors. They take just over an hour to print one, so we started several weeks ago.

“We just keep it running 24 hours a day. We were able to get in quick. It’s easier for us because we’re a small company and we don’t answer to anyone, so we could just do it.

“I think demand is slowing down now because some of the big boys are getting involved. It’s much quicker to laser cut them and we don’t have those resources.”

The visors have been used in Hexham, Wansbeck, and Darlington hospitals as well as in the community with Macmillan and other palliative care services.

The team has already received some positive testimonials.

Lindsay continued: “We’ve had some lovely messages. One of the first was a girl at Hexham, she said it had reduced her stress and anxiety. We also sent some to Darlington Memorial Hospital to an acute respiratory ward and got a photo of junior doctors using them on the frontline.”