A 15-year-old student from UTC Warrington and a teacher from Lymm have been helping the front line NHS and social care workers fighting the Coronavirus pandemic by producing face shields.
Chris Johnson, a Year 11 student at the Dallam Lane technical college, has been printing his own face shields to help protect those workers on the front line, including some of his own family.
Chris said that he had become interested in how to design and manufacture products using 3D printers after studying the process at the UTC. Since all schools closed in March, Chris has been using his time to balance studying and helping the community.
He said: “I was lucky enough to be able to buy a 3D printer from money I had already saved. With the current pandemic, I have been thinking of ways that I could help in any way possible.”
“I wanted to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS to help protect those at risk while they do vital work to save lives so I decided to 3D print face shields as I can make around 25 to 30 per day.”
Chris, who aspires to follow a career in electrical engineering, said that the work to protect front line workers is close to his heart.
“This is especially important to me as many of my family are front line workers with the NHS. I plan on donating the PPE to Preston and Warrington Hospitals and to primary care workers across Warrington.”
Amanda Downing, Associate Principal of UTC Warrington, says that the work that Chris is doing is inspiring.
“All of our daily routines have changed significantly. During these uncertain circumstances, it is heart-warming to see our young people going above and beyond to help their community. Chris is an inspiring ambassador for the UTC and demonstrates our values of excellence and kindness through this work he is doing. His technical skills are certainly being put to valuable use across the community.”
UTC Warrington has donated PPE to Warrington Borough Council and is currently working with local secondary schools and colleges to use 3D printers to provide resources to the front line NHS and social care workers.
Mrs Downing said it is positive to see schools coming together to help the vital workers.
She said: “We have been working with schools, including Beamont Collegiate Academy, to aid the relief effort. Some of our teachers have been using the 3D printers in the UTC and at home to manufacture parts for the equipment that is desperately needed. There is a positive community spirit between schools pulling together to support our NHS.”
In the past few weeks, staff from 20 University Technical Colleges (UTCs) across the country, including engineering-focused Warrington UTC, have turned their attention to supporting the NHS by donating much-needed equipment and utilising 3D printers to manufacture the metal frames for protective visors to approved specifications.
Lord Baker, Chair and Founder of the UTC movement said: “It’s fantastic to see UTCs taking the initiative and using the specialist equipment to help others in a time of crisis. UTCs foster innovation and it’s great to staff using their technical skills and enterprising spirit for such a worthwhile cause. This is exactly what this country needs at the current time.”
Chris is not the only one in the local community working to help frontline NHS carers.
Thomas Beardsall, Head of Design Technology at Lymm High has also been busy on the production line and thanks to the “Leave No one Behind” social media group in the village, he now has enough material to produce several hundred masks.
He posted: “We’re overwhelmed from the offers of help from staff and parents. We now have plenty of acetate to keep manufacturing the face masks.
“We should have a few hundred masks made by the end of next week with the help of others who are chipping in. Thank you all so much!”
Last week warrington-worldwide reported on how an 11-year-old pupil at Birchwood High School had been creating face shields with a 3D printer he received for Christmas.