Meet the inspiring Sussex student providing face masks to frontline medical staff

He’s raised £750 and could make up to 200 masks!

Let’s be honest, the news at the moment is inescapably sad. Constant updates on death tolls, the possibility of lockdown lasting for months, and reminders of the lack of equipment available to our frontline key workers; the constant stream of negative news is making the world a pretty scary place.

But the pandemic has showed the best that people have to offer, in the resilience, bravery, and selflessness of many who are doing their bit to help us all through the crisis. And what one Sussex student has been doing is definitely going to warm your heart.

Emmanuel Oyemade, a second year Product Design student at the University of Sussex, is inspiring many with his efforts to help provide personal protective equipment, or PPE, to frontline medical staff.

Recognising the value of his 3D printer and skills in product design, Emmanuel launched a GoFundMe page to raise the funds in order to build protective face shields for nurses, doctors and other frontline healthcare workers. Since then, he has been building and delivering his products to key-workers across Brighton, with plans to produce 200 masks.

The Sussex Tab spoke to Emmanuel about his inspiring campaign:

Emmanuel, tell us a bit about what inspired you to start making protective face shields.

“So over the past few weeks, I have been 3D printing face shields. Face shields are a piece of vital PPE that protects healthcare workers from droplets from the top of their forehead to the bottom of their chin. I started a few weeks back thinking about how I could help my local area and sitting beside me was my 3D printer. I was inspired by the amount of people making face shields in America.”


How did you come up with the design for the face shields you are currently making?

“I started with my own design with took around two hours and 40 minutes to print, however I then moved to a different design by a Swedish company called 3D Verkstan which takes only one hour to print. Since then I’ve been printing these and ordering material so I can clean and package them ready for delivery.”

How much money did your campaign raise? And can people still donate?

“My initial goal was to raise £500, but within 24 hours we smashed it and reached £750. I decided to lock the donations since I believe I now have enough funding to supply healthcare services in Brighton with the face shields that they need, however they can be opened up if I need more funding.

“I had an initial target of producing 100 face shields but I reckon with time I could make 200. Maybe even over if everything goes well.

“By the time this situation is under control or I can no longer continue, I will be donating the rest of the money to a local food bank”.

What has the response been like from healthcare workers who you have provided masks to?

“The healthcare workers were very grateful. At the same time they were surprised with how fast I can make and deliver them. I have also offered more to them if needed later down the line.”

How can people keep up to date with your campaign?

“If anyone would like to track my progress, feel free to follow my Instagram page!”

Emmanuel also wanted to stress the importance of funding STEM subjects in schools: “Subjects such as Art and especially Design and Technology is where I learned the basic skills that I could build upon to have this impact I’m having with these face shields.”

Have you been doing amazing things to help the fight against coronavirus? Send tips to [email protected]

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