STAFF at a college have turned its workshops into a face shield production line to keep frontline workers safe.

Colchester Institute has made hundreds of face masks to protect health and social care staff fighting coronavirus.

A team of 11 staff members from the engineering and construction departments made 450 shields which will be handed over to Provide, who deliver vital health and social care services.

Observing strict social distancing in the workshop, the team formed a production line to hand craft and assemble each individual face shield.

They produced the approved model using 3D printing technology.

Funding for materials have been provided by the Rotary Club of Colchester.

Alison Andreas, Colchester Institue principal said: “We’re immensely proud that our dedicated staff have been able to support the wider community during the crisis through the production of face visors.”

Iain Jacobs, who has led on this project, praised the efforts of the team.

He said: “Being able to draw on the skills and experience of the staff was pivotal in allowing us to manufacture this vital and much-needed protective equipment.”

The protective equipment will be delivered this week for immediate distribution.

Jenni Gallop, assistant director of estates and facilities at Provide said “Our clinical teams are very grateful for any additional personal protective equipment (PPE) which is donated to us and which enables them to stay safe when carrying out their vital roles.

"As an organisation we are extremely grateful for the time and effort so kindly given by the staff at Colchester Institute and also to the generous donation of funds by The Rotary Club of Colchester.

"We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all involved.”