GMP Police Special makes thousands of face masks for care homes

A Specials Sergeant for Greater Manchester Police has been producing face masks for local care home staff at his factory in Salford.

Phil Leonard, who also runs Daylight Grip & Textiles with his brother usually manufactures textiles for film and TV, but they were forced to halt production when the factory closed due to Covid-19.

But now, Phil and his team have been utilising their skills and materials by manufacturing thousands of face masks.

The team has also been producing uniform washbags for key workers and adjustable headbands for carers to hook their face masks on and improve the comfort over the course of long shifts.

Phil, who has been a Specials Sergeant since January 2019 and works across the Bury District, said: “After hearing about the shortage of face masks for care home staff, myself and my brother – who runs the business alongside me – desperately wanted to do something to help.

“We realised that we had the materials and equipment to produce the much-needed face masks for carers on the front line; it was just a case of adapting our day-to-day process.

“So far we have only been distributing the masks locally but we recently received a request from a care home in Telford which we agreed to fulfil because the more people we can help the better.

“As soon as a nurse or carer finishes their shift, they can place their uniform into the washable bag ready for an immediate wash when they return home. This means that the uniform can be taken home as safely as possible and helps limit the spread of the virus.”

Speaking about the production process, Phil added: “We have an exceptional team working in the factory who, like us, wants to play their part in helping support our local communities during these challenging times. I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a team in producing and supplying a product that can help protect the heroic staff in care homes across Greater Manchester.

“I am unable to go out on patrol at the moment due to recovering from surgery so this is just my way of serving the community and doing my part whilst I am out of action. I am privileged to be part of a fantastic police team who are working hard in these challenging times to keep the communities of Bury safe so it is important to me to help where I can.

“We hope that the masks will enable carers to carry on with their vital work, and we will continue with the production of the masks for a long as they are needed.”

Credit: ITV Granada News