Ross-on-Wye based manufacturer Ultrafilter Medical has donated 12,000 medical-grade type IIR face masks to the Royal National College for the Blind (RNCB) in Hereford.

The RNCB is a national centre of expertise for people with visual impairment, working with them to achieve vocational and academic qualifications, as well as developing essential life skills including self-confidence, personal independence and communication skills.

Dean Kronsbein, founder and chairman of Ultrafilter Medical, said: “The RNCB does tremendous work in the community, helping the visually impaired develop the skills they need to enjoy rich and fulfilling lives.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the team has worked hard to continue supporting its students but ensuring there is enough PPE to allow the college to continue operating safely eats into its budgets.

“We wanted to do more to support their good work and, as a local manufacturer of face makes, making this donation was the obvious way to help.”

Rachel Seddon, deputy principal at RNCB, said: “We are delighted with the donation, which will make a real difference helping us keep our community safe and enabling the college to continue operating effectively through the winter months and while Covid infection rates remain high.”

Ultrafilter Medical’s Ultramasks are made with a high-efficiency nanofiber filter media that has been lab-tested and certified as having a retention rate of 99.8%. This offers a higher level of protection than the 98% bacterial filtration of many imports and also makes the masks more comfortable to wear thanks to the very fine nanofibers used to filter viruses from the atmosphere.

Medical-grade masks, the Ultramask is currently used by frontline workers including employees of Wye Valley NHS Trust, Herefordshire Council, the Swiss Government and hospitals across Germany.