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UTC Reading student, Oliver Hitchings, nominated for Pride of Reading 2020 award

Year 12 student, Oliver Hitchings, has been nominated for The Inspiration Award, for making hundreds of protective masks for the NHS.  

Oliver has been using 3D printers at home to make key PPE for local key workers during the pandemic and has used the skills he has learnt in class to make more than 150 masks. 

He said: “I got the inspiration from reading about people in Italy using their printers to make similar equipment in the midst of their outbreak - I thought it was a great idea and decided to do the same.” 

Oliver used PVC to create the front shield and elastic to secure the masks, using the help of his mum when needed. 

He added: “It’s difficult to get the printers running, but once you’re in the rhythm it’s not hard anymore, but it is time-consuming to deal with all the fiddly bits.” 

He started making the masks on his own, but now supports the demand with two other Twyford residents – Oliver Beardsall and David Dawkins – and in July, he estimated that they had created more than 200 between them. 

Oliver has managed to supply all the local GPs, pharmacists, hospices, care homes and chemists with masks, and is now shipping them as far as Birmingham. 

UTC Reading are all incredibly proud of Oliver and the work being done to help those in time of need, using entrepreneurial spirit. He is a huge inspiration to us all.  

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