DT Team uses 3D technology to help key workers in coronavirus fight

A team from Ellesmere College is putting the school's equipment to use in the fight against Covid-19 by making essential face shields for Front Line and Key workers across the region with donations to their Just Giving Page. In total - with those supplied already plus those requested - the team will have made over 10,000 masks as the requests keep coming into the volunteer team.

Currently they have made and delivered face shields to number of hospitals in the region as well care homes, GP practices and First Line Responders:

  • Lincolnshire GP - 12
  • Normanton Retirement Home - 15
  • Severn Hospice - 100
  • Cartildg Care home (Telford) - 10
  • NHS North Powys for distribution around (Welshpool, Newtown, Llanidloes & Machynlleth + 6 others - 700 (more to follow)
  • Oswestry Police - 1
  • Ellesmere GP - 15
  • Bunbury GP - 20
  • Shrewsbury paramedics - 6
  • Short Notice Care - 50
  • Gwastad Nursing - 40
  • Gemini Care - 10
  • Sentinel Care - 60
  • Elmhurst - 60
  • Barnabas Food bank (Shrewsbury) - 90

They are currently working on:

  • Stirchley Medical Practice - 10
  • Edeley House - 20

The Design and Technology team have not only self-funded and donated a number of face shields , they have also bought equipment to increase the manufacture of the face shields and donated them to the teams efforts. Now the group of teachers, key workers themselves, have raised more than £5,260 through crowdfunding site - JustGiving - and in total almost £10,000 through other additional donations - including St Luke's House at the College also donated a term's worth of fund raising from their 'Pink Friday's' charity days - to continue making the face shields as the requests keep coming in for the frontline NHS and hospice staff across the region.

Old Ellesmerian Club Donation

Members of the Old Ellesmerian network were very generous in their support of the vital work of the College and donated £2,500 for the purchase of more raw materials and equipment to allow the volunteer team to continue to make and distribute the face shields. Part of their donation saw the purchase of a larger 3D printer that would produce 4 sets of the headbands continuously in stacks 26 high.

The Club's Chairman, Peter Leake, said, 'The Ellesmerian Club is delighted to be able to support the great work the College is doing to support the NHS and other front line organisations during these uncertain times. Keep up the good work!'

The team would also like to thank Old Ellesmerian, Rob Oakes (Meynell '04), owner of DKL Medcraft Bryden rubber manufacturing in Wem, for helping to increase the manufacturing capabilities and greatly reducing the manufacturing workload.

Old Ellesmerian's Masonic Donations

The OE Masonic members have always been active in supporting College initiatives and during this pandemic were particularly keen to help the volunteer team in production of the face shields for front line and key workers.

To support this initiative a donation from Lodge funds for £500 was made to the Just Giving Fund and this was then match funded by a generous donation from the members of the Masonic Province of Shropshire - making a grand total of £1000.

The Volunteer Team

Matthew Horton, Head of Design Technology at Ellesmere College said: "We wanted to find a way to help the frontline heroes who are putting themselves at risk every day to help others - and do our bit in the battle against Covid-19. Concerns have been raised over a lack of Personal Protective Equipment to protect key workers - so we've made use of our Laser Cutter and 3D printers to manufacture visors for them. The face shields are composed of an acetate visor and the head-band is made from polypropylene.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to the rest of the team who have helped in making the first batch - Jonathan Haycock, Andy Lycett and Ian Williams; without whom this would not have been possible. We initially exhausted all useable material in-house but Jonathan played a big part in gaining the additional material we needed for the first 200 masks.

Jonathan and Andy have also been instrumental in helping to source material that will help us to continue making the masks. They have both been fantastic and have been essential to making this successful.

The workshop is going to be a busy hive of activity over the coming weeks and as well as the use of the laser cutter we will be getting our 3D printers into production to help the cause.

We are trying to do as much as we can to help as this is a national emergency for PPE, I am very aware that a lot of DT teachers across the country are all doing the same to help. Files have been shared nationally to find the best designs; which in turn has allowed us to manufacture our own.

"We created a JustGiving crowdfunding page to raise £550 to make another 1,000 and it was amazing how quickly the target was reached and surpassed - people have been incredibly generous. We passed the target within 24 hours - and since then we have reached our next target of £5000."

Anybody who would like to donate to the fund to make more PPE can do so here: Jonathan Haycock JustGiving

Main image: Matthew Horton with members of staff at Severn Hospice

Letters of Thanks

Letter of thanks from Accord CEO Dr Chris Handy, OBE:

PPE Donation

I write to thank you for the very generous donation of Visors for Accord colleagues. As you will know this equipment is vital to enable us to continue to provide support and care for our customers - many of whom are very vulnerable and fragile. We are challenged in finding PPE although we have managed to provide all our colleagues with appropriate kit to date but every extra donation like yours is hugely needed and appreciated.

On behalf of the Care & Support team a big thank you to all involved in doing this for us.

Yours sincerely

Dr Chris Handy OBE

Chief Executive

Letter of thanks from the Critical Care Unit, Wrexham Maelor


PPE Donation

"The staff on the Critical Care Unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital wish to express their heartfelt gratitude for your donation. Seeing the support we have received from yourselves and others goes a long way to maintain the morale of our staff."

On behalf of all the Critical Care Team,

Helen Williams, Matron

Image below: Staff from Stirchley Medical Practice, Telford.

Stirchley_Med_Practice_2 Stirchley_Med_Practice_1

Image below: Choices Housing, Telford.   


Image below: Normanton Retirement Home - staff and members with the face shields


15th April 2020  Back to News