A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has devoted his time off school to making personal protective equipment (PPE) for our frontline health workers.

Alex Cohen, from Newton Mearns, was inspired after seeing people from other countries produce face shields through 3D printers.

He said: “I seen a lot of people online doing the same thing in other countries so I thought, I’ve got the equipment for this – I can help.”

The Means Castle High School pupil has distributed over 200 face shields in just one week to the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Hospice, care workers and midwives across Glasgow.

On average he is now making 50 shields per day.

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He added: “The face shields are really simple – all it is, is a 3D printed carve out that hooks onto the head and a face shield that acts as a splash guard to protect somebody from coughing on you or anything like that.

“It’s a very simple idea but it’s efficient. But there’s just not enough of them.”

This comes shortly after Scotland’s largest NHS trust launched an urgent appeal for help in printing 3D visors as intensive unit care staff struggle for PPE.

Head of the maxillofacial department at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Michael O’Neill begged for organisations and universities to help make 1000 protective visors for medics working on the front line.

Alex added: “It feels good to be able to help especially those in health care as it seems they’re really struggling at the moment.

“I didn’t expect it to take off, I printed one out and showed it to my Mum and it clicked that we should make them.

“We contacted the school to see if they’d be able to put us in contact with anybody need them and that’s how we managed to donate to the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Hospice.”

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A fundraiser launched just over a week ago has raised over £1500 to help pay for the materials needed to produce the shields.

Alex added: “Basically the fundraiser is there to fund the materials such as the visors and the actual printing materials as it can be quite expensive to print so many shields. We recon it’ll begin to start costing around £20 per day.”

With thanks to the money raised, Alex wants to expand on production as he plans on bringing two more 3D printers into use.

Proud Mum, Wendy said: “I’m so impressed at his work ethic and his drive.

“It’s quite technical using the printers, he’s trained himself on how to printing out a shield and gone through a process of trial and error until he got the final outcome perfectly correct.”

Alex will soon be working alongside fellow schoolmate Max Freeman, 12, who also has a 3D printer and wants to help our frontline workers.

Wendy added: “It’s lovely to witness how this national effort has reached out to all generations and widened out in the community to younger people too.”

The online fundraiser can be found at here.


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