A family who have received life-saving care from the NHS have shown their gratitude by making more than 1,000 protective visors in their home.
Vicky and Graham Nicholls, from Buckinghamshire, met when they were both training to become design and technology teachers and have twin sons, aged five.
The boys were born prematurely at just 29 weeks. One of them has cerebral palsy and they both have weak lungs, but they survived thanks to the NHS.
Last year, Vicky was diagnosed with breast cancer and is now in recovery after receiving extensive treatment.
With these health issues, Vicky and Graham were relieved when the Government decided to partially close schools and they could work from home.
But when they discovered that design and technology teachers across the country were starting to make protective visors they felt it was their duty to help.
“We have appreciated all of the care we have received from the NHS massively over the last few years,” says Vicky.
“It’s good to feel as if we are doing something to help and it is keeping us busy. Our boys think it’s great because they love making stuff.”
They first started making the visors manually and could produce about 40 a day,
When Vicky and Graham ran out of the materials needed to make the visors manually, they decided to try using two 3D printers loaned from school. With donations from local supporters, they now have five 3D printers in action all day.
This has been much easier for them because each printer can produce one headband per hour and then they just need to add the face shields by hand.
Another teacher has set up a local distribution service, so that all donations of protective equipment reach the frontline health and care staff who need them most.
Vicky is keen to point out that hundreds of other design and technology teachers across the country are also involved in this work.
“It’s been amazing to be part of this network of design and technology teachers working together,” says Vicky.
“Through Facebook, we have been sharing different designs, helping each other source materials and providing visors where they are needed quickly.
“The latest estimation is that 400 schools across the country are involved and that together we have made more than 250,000 visors so far.”