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Coronavirus: Pupils of St Mary's CE Foundation Primary School, Stansted, making safety masks to protect their own parents

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Children of key workers will be helping to make safety masks at their school in Stansted that could ultimately save their parents' lives.

Teacher Matt Curzon has already produced 100 plastic visors using his own 3D printer, supplying doctors' surgeries, first responders and paramedics in Bishop's Stortford, Stansted and Sawbridgeworth with the life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE).

Thanks to more than generous family members and friends who have donated £1,765, as of Saturday morning (April 11) he now has a production line of four 3D printers running at his home in Haymeads Lane in Stortford, where he lives with wife Victoria.

Matthew Curzon at home in Bishop's Stortford with one of the masks he made on his 3D printer (33354881)
Matthew Curzon at home in Bishop's Stortford with one of the masks he made on his 3D printer (33354881)

And with a fifth potentially on the way, he could be producing up to 50 visors a day. Each one takes about one-and-a-half hours to make.

When he returns to St Mary's CE Foundation Primary School in Stansted, where he is acting head, on Wednesday (April 15), he will be taking one of the printers from home.

"We have children of front-line key workers – one child whose parent is a nurse, some who are firemen being trained up to drive ambulances, people in pharmaceuticals, police officers and shop workers, too – and the children are really keen to do this," said Matt.

Happy Easter messages made by children of key workers at St Mary's CofE Primary in Stansted (33120534)
Happy Easter messages made by children of key workers at St Mary's CofE Primary in Stansted (33120534)

"They've already decorated the school with goodwill messages and are very keen to do whatever they can to help whoever they can. It's the perfect opportunity for the children to give something back to help their parents and others."

Matt, 35, has joined a growing band of about 70 volunteers with 3D printers who responded to a Facebook plea to help Cambridge man Darren Kamara produce visors from home.

His machine builds the headbands with A4 ascetate which give full-face protection to front-line workers. He is urging others to join the project and is appealing to key workers to contact him if they want some.

"We want more people with 3D printers as the more people we have printing them, the more we can get out to people. We have requests for 3,000 visors and that number is increasing by the day.

The masks made by Matthew Curzon (33120559)
The masks made by Matthew Curzon (33120559)

"And as a school, we want to get in contact with local services in Bishop's Stortford and Stansted that we can help. It takes one-and-a-half hours to print one visor, so the more people who can do it, the better to increase the speed and productivity."

On top of the requests to the Facebook group for 3,000 visors, Matt himself has received direct orders for 200. The items can be delivered free, adhering to social distancing.

It costs about £1 per visor and he is paying for them out of his own pocket. Victoria does the printing while he is at school.

He said: "A large number of friends and family have been asking how they can help. A number of people made kind donations of printing materials and donations via GoFundMe, initially to buy a third printer and material, but that has now has bought a fourth and we're very close to a fifth.

"Once this is all over, the printers will be donated to local schools and any money will be donated to charity."

To order visors from Matt, email PPEmattcurzon@gmail.com. To get involved in the 3D printing network, email keyworker3dprintingnetwork.outlook.com.

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