Janet Bauld, Sarah Wood, Katrina Valente from Forward Vision's Catrin team
Janet Bauld, Sarah Wood, Katrina Valente from Forward Vision's Catrin team

Press release


Royal Blind has been working with a community hero to get additional personal protective equipment for staff.

Transparent visors are being used to reduce the risk posed by coughs at Forward Vision — Royal Blind’s residential service for adults with a visual impairment and additional disabilities.

Staff also have access to fluid-resistant masks, aprons and gloves, which are being used if residents show any symptoms of the Coronavirus, in line with Scottish Government advice.

Simon Pearce-Madge, a Senior Residential Care Worker at Forward Vision, said each staff member would have their own washable visor during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Some of the people we support don’t have the capacity to understand the risk that a cough presents. We’re creating a safe barrier in the least intrusive way.

“For some people with a visual impairment, when they look at you, they’re looking for the features of your face, and this visor allows that.”

Royal Blind purchased the transparent visors from Mike Girdwood, who lives in Tranent, east of Edinburgh.

Mike has been using his own 3D laser printers to create the transparent visors.  This community hero is offering them for free to health and care workers. Royal Blind paid for the cost of visors supplied.

Mike Girdwood
Mike Girdwood

Mike, a veteran who uses a wheelchair and has a number of health issues, said he was doing what he could.

“Everyone keeps saying ‘well done’, and ‘we deserve a medal’.

“No, we don’t. We are just trying to do whatever can because there are peoples’ lives at risk and we all need to help where we can.”

Mike said he had supplied visors to hospitals, care homes, ambulance crews and GPs in Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Wales.

“We will keep going until the calls stop.”

Simon said Mike’s mission was impressive.

“I think it’s amazing: there’s such a shortage of all the equipment, but he’s gone out of his way to produce it.  

“Our staff are protected as well as they can be because of something he created at home.”

The Forward Vision residential service—located beside the Royal Blind School at Canaan Lane—has been on lockdown for several weeks. No residents or staff at Forward Vision have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Residents are keeping to their rooms and only essential key worker staff are visiting the service, reducing the likelihood of exposure.

Forward Vision is run by Scottish charity Royal Blind.

Donald Logan and Vicky Stewart, Morlich house team members at Forward Vision
Donald Logan and Vicky Stewart, Morlich house team members at Forward Vision

Donations to support Royal Blind with the additional costs caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be greatly appreciated.

Visit to make a donation and support our work.

Alternatively, text BLIND to 70460 to donate £3 to Royal Blind. Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message.

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