Positive PPE Response for HoW College Lecturer

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Positive PPE Response for HoW College Lecturer

23 April 2020

Male smiling and sat next to a 3D printer whilst packaging PPE headbands into boxes

As some may already be aware, Heart of Worcestershire College’s (HoW College) Engineering lecturer, Stephen Kittner, has spent the last few weeks 3D printing personal protective equipment (PPE) to help support the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic.

When we last spoke with Stephen he had a target to make 200 visors ready for the first delivery on Monday 6th April and had recently set up a JustGiving page for donations towards the materials needed to create PPE.

As of Wednesday 22nd April, Stephen had reached an incredible total of over 700 visors. Deliveries of said PPE were then made to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, The Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and hospitals based in Hereford, Gloucester, Ross on Wye and Llanelli.

Such a task of making PPE is no easy feat and has often meant Stephen has worked 14 hour days to get the job done; speaking on his current endeavour, Stephen commented:

“Thankfully, extra PPE is starting to filter through to hospitals and care homes, so requests this week have been lower than previous.

The 3D printers have been running well over the past week - often the first parts are started between 7 and 8 am, and the final switch off between 10 and 11pm.”

Thanks to Stephen, local hospitals and care homes have been able to continue functioning safely due to his production of PPE.

Speaking on how the last few weeks have been with balancing PPE production and home life, Stephen said:

“Seeing how happy people are to receive these visors makes the hard work worthwhile.

My wife and I have a 20 month old toddler and we have been doing lots with her in between the frequent machine visits! She loves the garden and looking for insects. When she naps in the day I have been cutting the clear front visor sheets and marking student assignment work.

Looking forward; I said that I would make the visors whilst there was a need and as that appears to be in decline now, I have not put any numbers on production for next week – but I have materials to make another 200 still if needed!”

Here at HoW College we think it is fantastic news to hear that the demand for PPE in the local area is finally in decline, that all our NHS staff, carers and key workers have been equipped to work safely, and of course that one of our very own has helped to support so many people and keep them safe in such a difficult time.

Speaking on behalf of HoW College, Principal Stuart Laverick commented:

“I have the great pleasure of working with many people whose first reaction to the current crisis was to see how they could help our NHS and Care colleagues, all while handling significant on-line learning and wellbeing support for our students and extra family and community support demands.

Stephen is an exceptional example of this as he manages all of the above while 3D printing 100’s of protective visors for our NHS; this is a great example of using your skills for the social not private gain. Thank you.”

Over the course of his PPE production, Stephen raised money to help pay for the materials required to produce the visors. With the latest update, Stephen said:

“We have now raised £777 on JustGiving - which has been amazing! Any excess funds will be donated to the NHS at the end of the project.”

We would like to say another big thank you to Stephen for his tireless efforts to help support the local area during this time and for being an excellent example for all of us.