How a Leeds teenager used scholarship money to make PPE for NHS staff

Jake HowarthJake Howarth
Jake Howarth
A Leeds sixth former is using his engineering skills to help produce a mass of PPE visors for NHS and care home workers.

Jake Howarth, 17, a student at The Grammar School at Leeds, began producing visors on a 3D printer at home, then used money awarded to him by the Arkwright Trust to buy a newer, faster model.

The budding engineer had received £600 from the Trust to support his A-level studies, and to fund activities to widen his experience of engineering.

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In light of the coronavirus crisis, Jake invested in another 3D printer, then teamed up with 3D Crowd UK, a group of 8,000 plus volunteers countrywide who are using their manufacturing expertise and equipment to produce PPE. In 12 weeks the group produced 185,000 visors and raised £144,000 to pay for materials.

For his part, Jake is producing the headband and bottom reinforcements for the face shields before the transparent sheet is affixed to the frame.

He said: “We don’t just need makers. We also need drivers to collect and deliver PPE, people willing to act as hubs and donations via the 3Dcrowd website.”

While Jake worked at home, the design technology workshop at GSAL has been used as a PPE production centre. The school’s head of design technology, John Bagshaw, coordinated the project, which has made and sent 4,000 visors since school closed at the end of March.

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Mr Bagshaw said: “In partnership with six other schools, we’ve provided PPE to 150 recipients Jakeincluding NHS services, GP surgeries, pharmacies, police, shops, care homes and dentists, even posting items to London, Wales and Scotland.

“It’s been a magnificent effort by colleagues and students, who helped on the production line whenever they had time.”