Members of Wolverhampton Wrestling Club, based at the Guru Nanak Satsang Gurdwara, Cannock Road, originally helped to provide face visors for care homes and doctor surgeries in the early stages of the pandemic – having identified this as a key area where vital personal protective equipment (PPE) was not getting through.
More recently, during a discussion with West Midlands Police about the work the club had been doing, it became apparent that some frontline staff, especially those with beards and turbans, were having difficulty wearing face coverings which are more generally available.
Ranjit Singh, Project Manager at Wolverhampton Wrestling Club, said: "This was clearly a big issue which was preventing some staff from carrying out their duties, and so we took the decision of trying to come up with a solution to help these key workers get back on the frontline as soon as they can – and continue to help our local community during these very difficult times.
"We successfully manufactured a bespoke face covering for West Midlands Police and, since then and in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, we have so far manufactured 4,000 specialist face coverings.
"We are now getting request for these coverings through a number of faith groups, and we are delighted to be able to provide coverings to be distributed via local gurdwaras, mosques and churches."
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We need to do everything we can to ensure that people are able to play their part in the fight against Covid-19 by adhering to the guidelines - particularly around wearing face coverings where necessary.
"It is wonderful to see that Wolverhampton Wrestling Club has been able to develop these bespoke face coverings which are much more practical for people with beards or turbans, and it will make a huge difference in our city's ongoing efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19."
Latest data shows there were 283.29 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 19 December. That means 745 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages. Further details of the Tier 3 Very High Alert restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at Covid Alert. Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit GOV.UK or call 119. People can get tested within 8 days of developing symptoms.