A SALON owner who has been in business for 37 years teamed up with another local business to be able to reopen and operate safely.

Mandy Spink, of Viva Hair in Helmsley, survived the Covid-19 crisis after being closed from March 23 until July 4, and reopened with a packed diary and a full team.

Mandy who has been in her current premises since 2012 said she had never previously experienced the challenges which the pandemic posed to her business, staff, customers and the wider community.

Thanks to support from the Government, Mandy was able to protect her team and threw open the doors again, with a full book of appointments spanning seven days to meet demand.

After learning that she was allowed to re-open, under new Government guidelines, which included all staff wearing full faceshield visors all day, she was committed to sourcing a local and sustainable solution for her business.

Mandy said: “There are lots of throwaway products and plastics around, and some of these are in PPE.

“We wanted to find a sustainable faceshield visor, ideally working with a local company to find the right solution”.

After an introduction from Carolyn Frank, of the Federation of Small businesses, Mandy contacted Richard Hall, managing director of Thirsk-based PD-m International.

PD-m had been designing a full faceshield visor that was one of very few to be CE marked to meet all Government regulations but that would also provide a comfortable wearer experience.

Richard Hall, of PD-m, said: “The PPE world was a bit like the Wild West at the start of lockdown with lots of cheap, home-made, imported and, quite frankly, useless products being touted around.

“Many were not made from a design perspective but often purely to make a quick financial killing.

“At PD-m International, because we are a design studio with nearly 20 years of product design experience across a range of sectors, we wanted to design a full faceshield visor with the wearer at the heart of the product design.”

Mandy said: “They are really good quality, quick and easy to assemble, they provide good airflow and feel secure but, just as importantly, because they are re-usable they are also a big tick in the box on the sustainability front.”

The CE mark of quality and the re-usability of the PD-m faceshield visors means that the actual cost in use per visor is less than some of ineffective cheaper options in use elsewhere.