Mr Mark Ridley, The guest speaker at the January 2020 society meeting together with another good friend of Keighley astronomical society , Dr Sue Bowler are spearheading a campaign to make vital protective equipment for frontline NHS workers has been launched in Otley.
Plastic face shields and scrubs are being made by Otley Maker Space – and the group is appealing to the public to help in any way they can.
More than £1,500 was raised in 24 hours when a GoFundMe page was set up for the Otley Maker Space Action for COVID-19. And now the group is looking for people to volunteer, donate and get their 3D printers working for the common good.
Despite their workshop being temporarily closed because of coronavirus restrictions members are working hard at home to support the NHS and have diverted their resources to making PPE equipment for front line workers.
Press officer Andi Petch said: “As makers we were becoming very restless and needed to be making our contribution to the wider community. It is also a great opportunity to show people how tech can be used for good.”
The group has been liaising with Otley and Yeadon councillor Sandy Lay, who is a Charge Nurse at Harrogate District Hospital, to ensure they are providing what is needed by NHS staff.
He said: “I have tried the various designs being produced by the makers in Otley and they are just what we need. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support for the NHS. Please donate or volunteer where you can. It is all helping to save lives.”
Andi said: “Gavin Parry and other members began experimenting with different designs from the online maker community. Sue Bowler then set up our GoFundMe page and we have been overwhelmed so far by the response.”
Sue added: “We have been astounded by the generous response to our funding call. Thanks to all who have donated money and materials so far – we’re full steam ahead with making and donating visors.”
In a statement issued this week the group said: “We know scrubs and headbands are needed urgently and we will have information about the designs confirmed very soon.
“We need money to buy filament for the 3D printers (£20 per kilo roll), acetate sheets (£15 per hundred) and elastic to assemble the visors, plastic sheets for the laser cutter and packaging.
“Our simple facemask includes about 50p worth of materials and we want to make at least 2000.
“Currently our volunteers can make 250 per week; we hope to buy one or more extra 3D printers to boost our rates of production, in order to get the protection to the people who need it as soon as we can.
Andi Petch said: “We would like the community to support us in any way they can. If there are schools and, colleges or businesses with 3D printers standing idle we would really appreciate your help. We will arrange collection/drop off at a safe distance and provide you with the instructions needed.”
The makers have a core of team of eight and a growing band of volunteers. They are looking for help from anyone who likes sewing.
The group is appealing to people to help it support the NHS and frontline workers in GP surgeries, care homes, care workers, pharmacies and hospitals in Otley and the surrounding areas.
It is asking people to donate money to
https://www.gofundme.com/f/otley-maker-space-action-for-covid19 or to donate supplies. It currently needs 3D printer filament, clear acetate sheets, and ziplock bags.
People can also help by printing components at home if they have a 3D printer, or by lending their 3D printers to Otley Makers.
The group also urgently needs fabric to make scrubs. The fabric can be any single block colour – blue preferably – but must be cotton/polycotton, able to withstand washing at 60 degrees and not see through. They also need tape for the trousers and cotton for sewing .
Otley Maker Space has set up contacts on its website –
https://otleymakerspace.blogspot.com/p/covid19.html – for people to volunteer or request face visors and scrubs.