A CHIRK business is using its time during lockdown to help with the efforts to provide much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS and care home staff across the region.

Tracy Butler, of Seventh Heaven in Chirk, has been producing hand sanitiser, face visors and face masks after a shortage became apparent because of the high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the items have been provided to workers at the local fruit and veg shop and other key workers, while hand sanitiser has been delivered to residents in the community.

With help from fellow workers and people who have volunteered to offer their services, along with donations of equipment, Tracy has been overwhelmed with the generosity and support from others.

She said: “Our son Tom has a 3D printer, so we decided to start printing face visors once the shortage became apparent.

“We tag team at home, doing four-hour stints each. These have been delivered to Hope House Children’s Hospice, Chirk Court, Chirk Community Hospital, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, our local fruit and veg shop and many other key workers.

“The sanitiser I make myself from pure Aloe Vera gel, 80 per cent alcohol, essential oil and Vitamin C powder as a preservative.

“This has been delivered to people all over the community including persons who look after vulnerable people, care homes, hospitals, taxi drivers and other key workers.

“The scrub bags and face masks are made by our two seamstresses, who would normally be in work one-day-a-week – they are currently volunteering their time five-days-a-week to keep up with the demand.

“My mum is using her usual work room, while another person helping us has her own garden shed kitted out as she is isolating with her vulnerable husband.

“To pick the products up, I drive by, open the window, collect finished items and deliver more fabric.

“I also have another lady whose son contacted me to see if she could help – an 84-year-old named Edna.

“All the fabric used has been the offcuts that we always keep when making our own linen for Seventh Heaven.”

People have also been donating money to help those involved pay for materials required to continue producing PPE.

Tracy added: “I’ve had so many lovely people donate 3D filament for the visors, bottles and essential oils for the sanitiser.

“Buttons have been posted from old school friends living in different area, dropped off by so many kind people.

“Everyone has been so wonderfully generous donating as it started to become quite expensive funding it all ourselves.”

Aside from producing PPE and hand sanitiser, Tracy has been offering ways for children to keep themselves entertained during lockdown, by leaving books and toys out for them to pick up for free.

“The toys we feel are a big help to some of the younger community residents,” she said.

“The feedback I’ve had has been heart-warming from parents saying their children have been occupied with something new to play with or a new book to read.”