Manufacturing

Published: April 14, 2020 | Updated: April 14, 2020

Director has ‘proudest moment of my career’ after his firm makes PPE for wife and mum

Ann Brolan wearing the PPE face visor made by MSA Manufacturing where her husband, Owen, is Operations Director.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Operations Director Owen Brolan says his company’s ability to make and supply personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers – including his wife and mum – is “the proudest moment of my working career.”

Owen, of Ferndown-based MSA Manufacturing, pictured left, said: “What a feeling to watch your most loved people go to work in a possible dangerous environment knowing you have done all you can to help protect them.

“This has only been possible due to the team spirit and the adaptability of a great business.”

Owen’s wife, Ann, and his mum, Polly May, are community nurses with Shore Medical.

The partnership looks after the healthcare of 58,500 patients across six surgeries and medical practices in Bournemouth and Poole.

Together with colleagues, Ann and Polly are now using an initial consignment of 100 face visors and surgical mask ear relievers from MSA Manufacturing.

It has also supplied PPE to other surgeries and care homes.

The independent company specialises in the machining, cutting and kitting of composite cores, fabric reinforcements and sheet materials for the glass reinforced plastic (grp) and high-tech composites sectors, notably marine and offshore wind.

However, general manufacturing has been suspended and, where possible, production has been switched to producing PPE for frontline NHS staff and key workers.

Max Osmond, Chief Executive Officer, pictured left, said: “Although MSA is a manufacturer, I’ve always seen it as being a service and relationship focused business, about people rather than products.

“I’m a great believer in commercial ‘moments of truth’ – those short moments in which a customer decides whether they want to do business with you or not.

“But these moments also apply to our behaviour in all walks of life.

“When we meet people and decide if we want to be friends or not, and when we are faced with a situation and asked to step up. How we act in these moments defines each of us.

“I’m proud to be in a position where I can help provide employment, and I’m proud that members of the team at MSA stepped forward and said ‘Let’s make PPE – it’s needed and we have the capability to make some it.’

“They had a purpose and just got on and switched to making something different.

“It’s only low volume, just face shields and disposable aprons, primarily for local health care services, but I’ve already been told that “it will save lives”.

“I nearly cried.

“We are just one of many companies and individuals who have set about making PPE to support our health care workers in this crisis.

“Our contribution is tiny in the overall scheme.

“But in a classic ‘moment of truth’, not just in MSA but across the country, people have stepped up and defined who they are.”

Owen’s mum, Polly May, wearing the face visor.

Owen only joined MSA Manufacturing as Operations Director this month after a production background which included working for Rollalong, Sunseeker International and, latterly, Regal Holiday Homes.

He said: “Thanks to Max and all the MSA Manufacturing team for getting this done so quickly.

“Considering we have not done this before it has been an amazing thing to see a business change so quickly to support others. ”

MSA was founded in 1969 as a packaging business before being purchased by its current owners in 1991.

It switched to its current activities in 2006.

The company currently employs 48 staff across three sites in Ferndown.

It plans to also start work on cutting thousands of disposable aprons for front line health and social care teams in the coming week.