STAFF at the Torch Theatre have been busy designing and delivering face shields for volunteers at the Paul Sartori Foundation.

These will help them to continue with their care and support in the community through these difficult times.

The shields so far have been going out to the NHS, but the Torch wanted to support local hospices, nurses and carers to help provide them with the extra protection they require to continue providing care.

As the theatre is temporarily closed to the public, they have been supporting the local community in as many ways as possible whilst following the advice of the Government over Covid-19.

Some of the initiatives they have undertaken include delivering kindling to the doorsteps of vulnerable patrons, running a free online singalong on Facebook, and running subsidised online classes for Torch Voices (choir) and My Moves (dance based activities designed specifically for adults with learning disabilities).

Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of the Torch Theatre said: "We are so proud of, though not a bit surprised by, the approach from our team to the current crisis. They have responded to the personal and professional challenges that we are all facing, with kindness, generosity and professionalism and we have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from our community in return.

“The innovative manufacture and distribution of these face shields, driven by our technical team, is just the latest example of how Torch staff are finding ways to support and inspire our community in these desperate times."

The Torch can make several face shields a day and they currently have 85 requests in production after putting out the news about the shields on their social media.

They have also had over 200 further requests from different health care professionals, nursing homes and hospices.

Mr Lloyd added: “Our staff are volunteering to make the face shields in their own time. As a theatre first and foremost, we are limited in capacity and we have been overwhelmed to date, but we are doing our best to make the shields within a safe environment to meet these requests wherever possible. We would also like to thank Glyn Edwards who have kindly donated materials to help with the manufacturing of the face shields.”

As a not-for-profit, registered charity, the Torch are only asking for donations to help cover the costs of making the face shields from those that can afford to do so. They are here to help, not just by making the shields, the technical team are able to deliver across the local area if others have made shields and need them distributed.

If you are struggling to get these out to the key workers who need them, email Technical Manager, Andrew Sturley; to see what they can do to help.