MEMBERS of a community have rallied by using 3D printers to produce protective masks to be used by NHS staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Eccleston-based GP Greg Irving put out a request on the Eccleston Community Support Group on Facebook on Friday morning (March 27).

And within six hours 3D printed face shields were on the frontline thanks to the quick response by the community. 

Eccleston residents Steven Bayliss and Sonya Horton printed the protective masks using their 3D printers.

Also, donations were made by residents, as well as Violet-Grace's Gift, a charity set up in memory of Violet-Grace Youens, which purchased the elastic material for the masks.

St Helens Star:
The final product

Greg said: "I was quite motivated by the claps for the NHS (last week) and it made me realise how much support community support there is out there. 

"The frontline staff have been working incredibly hard, there's obviously huge pressure for supplies of equipment. 

"St Helens has a long history in manufacturing and lots of people with 3D printers came forward and within the space of six hours we had some pilot samples ready to use. 

"What was surprising was people were on the doorstep who had the expertise to do it round the corner from where I am in Eccleston."

He added: "We've been in contact NHS Covid response team to see if it can be upscaled.

"There's been offers of further support from other people. "My hope is other communities can look at something similar.

"I think it's got huge potential to take off. Everyone who has helped so far has been incredibly generous."

Eccleston councillor Michael Haw added: "Like many other areas in St Helens and indeed the country, the local community response in Eccleston to the coronavirus has been amazing. 

"On a daily basis I am seeing and hearing stories of people helping those that have found themselves isolated or in need of support. 
"The 3D printing of the protective masks for front line NHS workers being one of the many examples of this community support. 

"The next few weeks and months will be a challenge for all of us, but it is with that great community spirit that we will get through this crisis, and one that we will get through together."

  • Anyone within the NHS locally who needs any masks printing can contact the Eccleston Community Support Group on Facebook, which is being co-ordinated by ward councillors Michael Haw, Geoff Pearl and Teresa Sims.