40,000 PPE masks for the NHS. Dobie Wyatt of Cadley, well known for creating all forms of protective tarpaulins – particularly for the haulage industry as well as offering bespoke alloy fabrications have just changed their entire working procedure to produce these protective mask visors for the Health Service at this time of greatest need.
“It’s a big call” explained director Graham Dobie. “It was something so important that we stopped all other work and dedicated our entire working procedure to produce this massive number of masks”.
Experts in working with tarpaulin material, PVC sheeting, foam and velcro the move to production of masks was a refocus from producing small numbers of large items to a large number of small items, but the expertise and skills required are very similar.
Not only were the regular Cadley Dobie Wyatt team all switched to mask production, some like Graham’s sister Lorraine Thatcher and her husband Nigel are working from home but former colleagues, now retired (Michael Maguire in the Prepping room) were drafted back in. Even Graham’s elderly mum Joyce and dad Spencer (co-founder of the business back in 1964) are also helping, but from their homes rather than in Cadley.
“It’s still very much a family business” said Graham. Graham’s wife Sue, director Tom Thatcher are all totally involved in the process at Cadley of the heat sealing and sewing machines, or in Sue’s case ensuring quality control and packaging to make sure that the masks are all produced to a consistent standard and to the necessary timescale.
“We’re getting on towards halfway” stated Graham, explaining that they can produce between 1,500 and 2,000 per day so there is still some time to go before all are out at the sharp end.
Where to? “We haven’t been involved in dealing with the NHS procurement teams” said Graham, this part of the process was being managed by an established Health Service supplier, Barworth Medical, also based locally in Fyfield. “As quickly as we can ship them, they are being sent to where they are most needed” he added.
What next? “Then back to our normal” noted Graham, “making bespoke tarpaulins and alloy fabrications, all the sorts of bits that our regular haulage customers need.” “No job too big, or no job too small”.