UPDATED: Chatteris-based group with members across Fenland have been supplying vital safety protection to key NHS workers
Key health workers across Fenland are keeping safer thanks to the work of a group organised by a Chatteris-based planner.
Mat Carpenter has organised a group of volunteers from Chatteris, March, Thorney and beyond to make face shields for key NHS workers and others on the front-line using 3D printing.
By today (Monday) the group has supplied over 220 of the face protectors and are appealing for help to make even more.
Recipients so far include staff working on the front-line at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge caring for Covid-19 patients.
Locally face shields have been supplied to NHS workers in GP surgeries in Chatteris, March, Doddington, Wimblington, Manea, Ramsey and Sutton.
Care homes, the Fenland Community Midwives and staff at Age UK's headquarters in Chatteris have also all benefited.
The group has been using the 3D printers and a design which creates a headband and visors. It takes approximately three hours to print a mask and currently the group are supplying between 20 to 30 visors for each headband.
The headbands can be sanitised and reused but the visors need replacing every half a day, by supplying between 20 and 30 visors the group is providing protection for staff that lasts between 10 and 15 days each.
Although the shields are non-NHS approved, local medical facilities have been calling out for face shields and the group has a waiting list.
The group are calling for people to volunteer the use of their 3D printers and donate rolls of PLA plastic or OHP plastic for visors. They have been coordinating deliveries of PLA
plastic to those who have 3D printers and coordinating the distribution of the masks to local medical facilities and staff.
Mat, who has been leading the effort from his home and through a Facebook group, called Face Shield Printing, and is calling for more volunteers and is also appealing for cash donations to help buy more of the necessary materials.
He said: “There is a national effort for face shield printing, and it’s great to see communities pull together during an unprecedented time of national crisis.
"Nurses, doctors, midwives and hospital staff are heroes and it’s terrible that many have been left fighting on the front-line without adequate protection. It is absolutely vital we do our part to help our local key workers and protect our NHS.
"Your help is required. If you have 3D printers available or can donate PLA or OHP plastic, please get in touch through our Facebook group.
"Four reels of PLA will allow us to print around 100 shields. If people already printing need materials, we can arrange delivery or pick up. Once the shields are printed, we can also help deliver them to your local NHS services.
"We are heartened to see how our local community has responded so far, but we want to do more to keep up with demand and keep our NHS workers safe as they work to protect our loved ones. Please get in touch if you can help."
For more details or to donate visit: Face Shield Printing