A COUPLE from Caerwent have come to the rescue of GPs in Gwent, by creating protective face masks.

After seeing the pleas of a local GP on Facebook for protective equipment to shield her from coronavirus, sci-fi author Michael Thomas and his partner Pamela Jary set about using their 3D printer to create the masks free of charge.

Global shortages of the equipment medics and carers need to protect themselves against Covid-19 have led to shortfalls in the UK.

Following the request on Friday evening, Mr Thomas and Ms Jary appealed for the correct equipment on social media, and were stunned by the response.

South Wales Argus:

Mr Thomas' first batch of masks

“I had the correct equipment to build the frames for the masks, but I didn’t have the transparent visors or elastic bands,” Mr Thomas said. “I put a post on social media and within a few hours I’d received 50 visors from a resident and elastic bands from the post office.”

After creating the first batch of protective masks on Sunday, which have now been collected for GPs to use, Mr Thomas and Ms Jary have received a number of other requests - including from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

“It’s lovely to have the extra requests but there is only so much I can do with the equipment I’ve got,” Mr Thomas said. 


After putting a request for funding of £250 out over the weekend so he can continue making the masks, Mr Thomas and Ms Jary have since raised £1,250 – with donations still coming in.

“I can’t thank people enough for their generosity and how they have helped us to keep this project going,” Mr Thomas said.

“We can now make at least 500 masks with what we’ve received.”

South Wales Argus:

Mr Thomas' 3D printer, which makes the masks

“While industry is struggling to catch up it’s important regular people like us meet at the periphery,” Mr Thomas continued.

“It’s important that we do our best for these people. There are hundreds of people coming in and out of these pharmacies and GPs every day, and we need to do our best to protect the people working there.”

Caerwent resident Bernie Dawson, who started the Covid-19 community group in the village, heaped praise on Mr Thomas for his work.

“This what we’re all about in Caerwent,” he said. “This is local people doing it for our local professionals.

“It shows what people can do when they are allowed to by the authorities. It’s acts like this that will see us through.”

If you would like to support Michael and Pamela's efforts you can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/michael-thomas-545