What do you do to fill your days when you are a furloughed tennis coach, used to being on court every day and evening? The answer for one Co. Durham coach was easy, put your 3D printer to use, when not making tennis racquet parts, why not have a go at making face masks for front line workers in care homes and surgeries who are struggling to get hold of personal protective equipment.
Sam Stokoe, who is employed by Durham Community Tennis heard of the problems currently being experienced in G.P. surgeries and care homes from his aunt who is a retired nurse practitioner, now back working to help the increased demand on the N.H.S. so he decided to do something about it. Sam set to, to make some masks for a G.P. surgery, word soon spread and he has now made over 750 masks which have been distributed to GP.s and care homes across Durham as well as Newcastle and Sunderland.
After a Facebook appeal for acetate sheets and plastic ribbon for 3D printers, Sam also received numerous donations of materials from businesses and also residents in the Consett area, including one from Bishop Ian Ramsey Primary School in Medomsley. Two more local printers have also come forward and offered to help out. Sam bought a second printer and was able to purchase materials and resources after a donation of £500 from Karbon Homes, which has enabled him to deliver this vital PPE for free. Derwentside Glass have also provided new glass beds for Sam’s machines – such great community spirit!
All proceeds of any donations or income go straight into the Durham Community Tennis Partnership (DCTP) to pay for materials needed to make the PPE and any surplus will help with the development of aspiring coaches and to develop young (and old) tennis players across County Durham.