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19 May 20

An Affinity Water husband and wife team make face mask extenders for two local hospitals to help NHS staff stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic

When the call went out on a Facebook craft page for people to make face mask extenders for a local hospital in Surrey an Affinity Water husband and wife team stepped up to the mark to make some.

Karinn Locke an Asset Specialist in Asset Strategy at Affinity Water and her husband Phil Locke, a sampler technician at Affinity Water combined their skill sets by crocheting and 3D printing mask extenders for Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford and later The Royal Marsden Hospital too.

Karinn had just learnt to crochet this year and Phil used his 3D printer to make buttons so the extenders could fasten properly.

Karinn explained: “Helping to keep NHS workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly important to both of us. There was a call on my Facebook craft page for mask extenders for the Easter weekend. Having just learnt to crochet this year, I looked on YouTube and saw what was needed so started small and made 15 on Good Friday which I delivered to the nurse who had put the appeal in for Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guilford.

“The challenge was buttons but luckily my husband Phil has a 3D printer so he has been printing buttons for me. A couple of weeks later, I had a Zoom meeting with my craft club and mentioned this to them and said that if anyone needed them, I was happy to do more. Since that, we received a call from a lady who works at The Royal Marsden Hospital and I made a batch of 25 at the end of April for them and last week I made another 70.”

She continued: “To start with I was quicker than Phil at making the extenders than he was at printing buttons but as I only have limited time whilst he can set the printer to print for many hours, he finally caught up with me. Now we have spare buttons in readiness for the next appeal for extenders.”

Husband Phil said: “I was happy to help Karinn make the mask extenders for these two hospitals, Royal Surrey County Hospital and The Royal Marsden. It is so rewarding to think that we can both help from home to crochet extenders and then make the buttons from them with my 3D printer. It’s not a race but I like to think I can keep up with Karinn and that we now have a few buttons in stock for when she wants to make more extenders. Keeping NHS workers safe is one of the most worthwhile things we’ve ever done together.”

Kevin Barton, Head of External Communication for Affinity Water said: “Affinity Water is committed to helping the communities it serves. I want to thank Karinn and Phil for stepping up to the mark to make these mask extenders for the NHS and going above and beyond to help during the coronavirus crisis.

“These are indeed challenging times and we have a number of ways we can help those who need financial support and so far, we’ve helped over 4,000 customers get the support they need. We also urge anyone with existing health issues who is not already registered for our priority services to register now so that we can provide additional support where needed. For more information visit www.affinitywater.co.uk/corona-virus.”

NB: The photographs shows Karinn with her crocheted extender and Phil with his 3D printer buttons.

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