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Portadown craft company adapts to produce much-needed face shields for local care home staff

'We really felt we wanted to give back and help in any way we could'

Lynn Kerr
Lynn Kerr, founder of Lily’s Craft Attic, and a 3D printed face shield frame.

A Portadown company has swapped its usual craft workshops for the world of 3D printing in an effort to supply much-needed face shields for care home workers in the area.

Thanks to £1,000 funding from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Covid-19 Community Support Grant, Lily’s Craft Attic was able to purchase necessary 3D printing materials for this new venture.

Lynn Kerr, founder of Lily’s Craft Attic, has been providing the tools and know-how on a range of crafting workshops – from mixed media to upcycling furniture – to locals in the Portadown area for 10 years.

The council has worked with the small enterprise in the past, offering mentoring support and assistance through the popular Business Engagement Programme.

Although no stranger to fashioning new and interesting creations, Lynn has certainly diversified and expanded her skills and repertoire, branching out into a whole new area of expertise by learning a new craft and picking up new software skills at the same time.

Having provided over 400 face shield sets to care home workers and voluntary groups in Portadown and the surrounding areas, Lily’s Craft Attic’s contribution and efforts have been invaluable in addressing the need for this vital piece of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Identifying the need for face shields early on, Lynn was keen to help.

She said: “It was apparent from early on that the demand for personal protective equipment was outstripping demand, resulting in so many of our carers on the front line risking their own health in order to help everyone.

“We really felt we wanted to give back and help in any way we could.

“The funding and guidance we’ve received from council have been pivotal in helping us maximise our efforts to provide these vital pieces of PPE and we are incredibly grateful.”

Commending the company’s diversification during this time, Lord Mayor Mealla Campbell said: “Lynn is one of the many business owners in our borough who has not only risen to the challenge posed by Covid-19 but exceeded it.

“Through upskilling, diversifying and switching operations, they are all playing their part in the battle against this deadly virus and I wholeheartedly applaud their selfless contributions.

“With financial assistance secured from our Covid-19 Community Support Grant and guidance from our Business Support team, Lynn has been able navigate this new working environment to supply essential face shields for those on the front line. I’m delighted we were able to support her.”

To apply for funding through Covid-19 Community Support Grant visit https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/resident/community-grants/ or to find out more about business support available visit https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/business-support/.

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