Two Chiltern Railways employees are going beyond the call of duty to help key workers in hospitals, GP surgeries and testing centres by sewing scrubs and making personal protective equipment (PPE) using 3D printing.
Chiltern’s Customer Communications Manager, Emma Sellers recently joined a Facebook group called ‘For the love of scrubs’ where a community of sewers share patterns, pre-cut material and tips for making scrubs. With requests for the items from over 20 hospitals and centres in South West London, Emma and some friends got to work making sets to donate to the NHS, with volunteers from the Facebook group making over 1,500 sets so far.
Emma said, “Hospitals are really lacking scrubs and as they have to be washed every day at 60 degrees, lots of healthcare workers are having to wear and wash every day, so these community-made scrubs are helping to lessen the pressure on workers. It’s been really nice to get back into sewing and to feel like I’m doing something, even if it’s a small thing, to help the NHS.”
Technical Engineer, Tom Marshall started producing face shield head bands and ‘ear savers’ after discovering that others in the US were able to create items for hospital staff using their personal 3D printers. Tom has already created over 100 items to donate to NHS staff who are working in hospitals and at drive-in test centres – with requests for the parts coming in from as far away as Poole.
Initially starting with the headbands, Tom soon thought about other parts he could make to help NHS staff. Tom said, “I saw that people were suffering with sore ears due to how the surgical face masks fit, so I started looking into making something that would distribute this evenly around the head rather than the back of the ears.”
Tom has also found a local company in Aylesbury, called 2D Print World, who can help assemble the shields for distribution locally.
Mary Hewitt, Interim Managing Director for Chiltern Railways said: “We’re extremely proud of the work Emma and Tom are doing to create protective equipment and clothing for those currently working on the front line of the Coronavirus pandemic, using their own materials and spare time to do so. Chiltern Railways will support them in making arrangements for the equipment to get where it is needed the most.”