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A school in Leigh-on-Sea has come up with a way to assist in the race to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to key workers during the coronavirus crisis.
Louise Ford, of Essex Mums, who is a parent/governor at Chalkwell Hall Junior School, read an article online about face shields being created with 3D printers and contacted the school’s deputy head, Nick Hanshaw, to see if the same could be done on the school’s printer.
Louise said: “He tried a method and was successful, so we set about seeing if we could get parents and friends of the school to donate to materials so that we could print as many as possible.”
In an amazing response, their original wish list was reached within an hour and so they decided to try and fundraise to buy a new 3D printer and up production.
“Since then we have raised nearly £6000, bought two new printers for the school as well as upgraded the equipment and got the word out to other local individuals and companies who are helping by printing masks that we then distribute to NHS staff and other key workers,” added Louise.
Hundreds of masks have been delivered to Southend and other hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, care homes, homeless shelters and more.
The school is now able to produce between 80 and 140 masks a day, then has hundreds coming in each week from outside sources too.
Although the face shields are not officially sanctioned by the NHS, recipients have been quick to show their gratitude. But more is still needed and materials are running low.