Foldall was born out of the urgent need for PPE to be made quickly to protect NHS staff and other frontline workers against COVID-19. Due to the increasing demand only two weeks into production, Foldall’s assembling team has outgrown its current manufacturing site.
Edward Chudleigh is the mastermind behind the production design. He harnessed his expertise in robotics and set about designing the first face shield, FS Mk 1, working in his lab with 3D printed components. Steve James, Rosie Nottage and Rachel Yuan later joined forces with Edward to set up the organisation. Rosie Nottage, who is an Old Edwardian (1995-1997), introduced the team to KES.
Initially self-funded, with generous donations from the public and support from local businesses, Foldall was able to purchase large quantities of materials to kick start production. The company’s face shields reached the frontline within the first week of operation. So far 44,941 face shields have been shipped and 51,000 units ordered.
From public donations, an additional 5,517 shields are being donated to organisations in need. Foldall production is growing every day, with 5,000 shields currently being produced per day, with the capacity to grow to 10,000 a day.
Foldall is now calling on further donations to help this initiative. Edward Chudleigh, founder of Foldall, explained, “We are very grateful for the support from King Edward’s School. This move will enable us to increase our production capacity to 10,000 a day. St Michael’s Without Church, who fostered our growth at first, made it possible for us to increase production quickly. As we grew, we needed to protect the legacy of the city and the church, as well as the health and safety of our volunteers.
“Our new host has provided the ideal environment for our continued growth. Our aim is to get as much vital PPE protection to the frontline as possible – every face shield made could mean a life saved on the frontline. We need support from our community to be able to achieve this.”
Jonathan Webster, Bursar at King Edward’s School, added, “We are so pleased that we could help Foldall in their crucial work by offering them our sports hall as their base so production could be increased. Like so many in the local community, KES has also been keen to support the local NHS and healthcare teams, with the Design Technology department here at school producing 1,200 visors to date, which have been delivered to hospitals, care homes, nurseries and GP surgeries in the Bath and Bristol area.”
If you would like to volunteer at Foldall, and help in the production of shields, please visit www.foldall.co.uk