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Crèche assistant Victoria turning idle hands to making hundreds of face shields for health workers

Victoria Murphy

A council crèche assistant has turned her idle hands to making hundreds of face shields from health staff after her day-to-day ceased because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council employee Victoria Murphy started working for council back in 1999 and has carried out a wide range of roles in a variety of venues over the years – so she is always used to being busy.

So, when the Covid-19 pandemic began and she wasn’t able to carry out her job as a crèche assistant at Banbridge Leisure Centre – or cover centre attendant duties in other council facilities – she was quick to find something truly worthwhile to keep her mind and hands active.

When Victoria saw a local group on Facebook asking for help to make disposable face shields for health care workers, she wanted to help out – and has already made around 500 of them!

Organised by a group called ‘NHS Face Shields Lurgan’, they provide the volunteers with all the equipment needed including elastic, acetate and foam as well as a video showing them how to do it.

What started off as a very small operation has turned into a huge production line, with people cutting materials, businesses making donations, fundraising efforts and people like Victoria putting the shields together.

In total, 40,000 protective masks have been made and distributed to date – with more being added every day.

“I have always been busy with my work over the years and enjoy working in different roles and in different facilities,” commented Victoria.

“I currently work in Banbridge Leisure Centre as a Creche Assistant as well as covering shifts in a variety of other council facilities including Killicomaine Community Centre, Lurgan Town Hall and Lough Neagh Discovery Centre. My days are always well filled, I am always busy and love dealing with members of the public, so when everything closed due to Coronavirus, it felt very strange.

“When I saw this group and the amazing work they were doing I wanted to get involved. There are barrels of supplies where I pick up the equipment I need and then I get to work at home. When I have 100 put together they get picked up and delivered to care home workers and NHS staff. I really enjoy making the face shields and knowing that they are helping our community.

“It has turned into an incredible process and I am so proud to be part of it but will also be glad to get back to my normal day jobs with the council when the time comes!”

Check out NHS Face Shields Lurgan on Facebook for more information.

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