When Jordan Bowden attended Coady’s OceanPath Fellowship (now Pathy Foundation Fellowship) in 2016, he launched an initiative in his hometown of London, Ontario, Canada aimed to connect people with disabilities with local “makerspaces” where they can use communal facilities and tools to create their own assistance devices.

Now Jordan is using his skills to create partnerships in a collaborative effort to manufacture and supply personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in the Montreal area.

“I have brought together people from a very wide variety of backgrounds to collaborate an initiative to create 3-D printed face shields for healthcare workers,” Jordan says, noting that this particular type of PPE has been “in critically short supply”.

“To date, we have donated 723 urgently needed shields, which were created by makers and companies across Montreal.”

To date, we have donated 723 urgently needed shields, which were created by makers and companies across Montreal.

Jordan Bowden

OceanPath Fellowship, 2016-2017, Protection Collective

The Protection Collective defines itself as a “mutual aid network of…makers, hackers, students, healthcare workers, and small business owners”. Their goal is to “close the gap for PPE in the fight against COVID-19 in Montreal.”

As of April 16, the province of Quebec has 14,860 known cases of COVID-19, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the country’s total.

With the support of 12 partner organizations some facilities are now working in 12-hour shifts to try to meet the supply demand while also maintaining physical distancing measures. The collective which launched on March 25 is continuing to grow.

“We have recently partnered with Head and Hands to facilitate donations to the project,” Jordan explains. “We will also supply community organizations like them with shields as the urgent demand from healthcare professionals working in hospitals is addressed.”

Jordan says the initiative has been heavily influenced by his experience in the fellowship at Coady Institute.

“The approach I have been encouraging in this group has been heavily influenced by the asset-based community development approach I learned over the course of the OceanPath Fellowship,” Jordan says. “I just wanted to send my appreciation for this toolkit that I now use every day.”

Photos courtesy of Protection Collective.