An art and technology teacher is keeping key workers safe during the COVID-19 outbreak by producing personal protection equipment with help from Sunderland College.
Laura Jones has produced hundreds of medical visors from her home in Sunderland after responding to a Facebook post appealing for people to help manufacture PPE.
Setting up a fundraising page to pay for materials, Laura made 50 visors using her own 3D printer, but following an increase in demand she contacted Sunderland College who provided three machines from City Campus as well as donating spools of plastic.
“I’m normally a supply teacher for art and technology but I’m not working because of COVID-19,” Laura said. “I was approached on an artist teacher network by someone asking for those with 3D printers to help make PPE.
“I set up a fundraiser on Facebook and approached the companies I’m affiliated with to see if I could borrow their machines, and Sunderland College were very kind in providing materials and three printers.
“I’ve had support from a lot of people, some through donations of money for materials, and companies such as Hobbycraft, FabLab, BST Fabrics and Factory Fabrics have donated acetate, PLA and elastic.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed with the incredible response from everyone and now I can make a maximum of 48 a day to help local hospitals and care homes.“
Laura has so raised over £1,200 through her fundraiser with any money remaining being donated to local STEM community education programmes, such as teaching the elderly how to 3D print and helping children learn manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting.
The donation comes after staff at City Campus handed over hundreds of face masks, protective eye wear, coveralls and protective gloves to South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust from the college’s vocational learning programmes including hair and beauty, construction and engineering.
In response to a phenomenal and unprecedented need for equipment the government has provided 761 million pieces of PPE across the UK’s hospitals, hospices, care homes, home care providers, GPs, pharmacists and dentists since the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes 158 million surgical masks and medical visors.
With a continuing surge in demand, universities, colleges, schools and community volunteers have joined with the manufacturing industry to produce additional PPE for front line workers and carers.
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