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Wisbech firm honours Peter's memory in its work for frontline workers



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A Fenland firm is honouring the memory of their boss by making protective equipment for frontline NHS and care workers.

TES Europe in Wisbech started by using its small 3D printer to make ear protectors for staff to wear to stop their protective masks chaffing.

But from their the project has grown and the company which was started by Peter Waterfield, who died as a result of pneumonia caused by Covid-19 four weeks ago, has gone into almost mass production of the protective shield masks.

Alex Neal right with Tommy Jolly, centre and TES apprentice Michael Ely, who have been working flat out to keep the PPE printing going. (34030895)
Alex Neal right with Tommy Jolly, centre and TES apprentice Michael Ely, who have been working flat out to keep the PPE printing going. (34030895)

Alex Neal, who joined the firm as a 16-year-old apprentice, and considered Peter as a second father, said: "Peter was a diamond of a man. He would do anything to help. He was a very generous man and was never one for hoarding profits and would donate £100s to causes close to his heart like Peckover School, where he was a governor.

"When he first got ill he asked me to use our company's 3D printer to make equipment for the NHS and it has snowballed from there.

"While he was in hospital I would get text messages asking how we were getting on. He was seeing people daily that still had no protection. It doesn't matter what you are doing, if you are part of the fight then you deserve basic protection.

Peter Waterfield, who was the boss at TES Europe, was a generous man and wanted his firm to help nurses on the frontline without protective gear. He died of the virus four weeks ago. (34030901)
Peter Waterfield, who was the boss at TES Europe, was a generous man and wanted his firm to help nurses on the frontline without protective gear. He died of the virus four weeks ago. (34030901)

"We were getting calls asking for more equipment and so I went out and bought a larger printer with my own money so we could make the halos for the face shields. I have quite a big family and they bought a second large printer.

"Others have also been donated and now we have five printers, and I'm expecting a sixth one to be delivered. The original one is still making the ear protectors and the others are making the face shields.

"We are getting requests for equipment from all over the country. We have donated them to all the local hospitals including the Trafford Ward at North Cambs Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and practically every local care home, but we are also sending them out to places like Blackpool, Bedford, Newcastle and Scotland.

The printing started with protective ear pieces but they are now making up to 50 face shields a day. (34030899)
The printing started with protective ear pieces but they are now making up to 50 face shields a day. (34030899)

"We are still working as our business is considered essential as we make control boards for the food manufacturing industry, so it is a bit hectic and we have the printers running all day."

The firm has been providing the materials for the shields, which they are currently making at a rate of between 40 and 50 a day. But a friend helped set up a Gofundme page with a target of £1,000 to help fund the project, but within days it had hit over £5,000.

"People have been incredibly generous, and it means we can afford to keep going. If people have a 3D printer and want to help, I'm happy to send them the necessary materials and can give them the printer files - the more people we can get involved the better.

"We are due to move premises shortly and I have negotiated with the current landlord to keep one of the current units, which will be used as a printing hothouse for the PPE. We will keep while there is a need and nurses and care workers are on the frontline fighting this poxy virus without enough of the right equipment.

"I know if Peter was here, he would be proud of what we are doing to help. I really miss him, he was always kind but he would also say it like it was if you needed telling. He has left a really big hole in our lives."

To donate visit: www.gofundme.com/f/free-ppe-to-front-line-workers



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