Appeal for old stationery to help save lives

Posted on: Wednesday 22 April 2020

Last week, Torfaen Council were rummaging at the back of stationery cupboards looking for supplies of unused acetate sheets to help the battle against Covid-19.

Acetate was once commonly used for overhead projectors and to protect important documents or books, but it’s now rarely used in the modern office environment.

These acetate sheets are now being turned into NHS approved facemasks by local resident Dale Snook.

Dale who lives in Pontypool is working around the clock with his wife to produce the life-saving protective facemasks using his 3D printer from his garage at home.  The facemasks are being used in local nursing homes and the county hospital to protect NHS and care staff on the front line of the response to the covid-19 virus.

Dale, who is a former pupil at West Mon and now works as a Senior CNC programmer, has been furloughed during the crisis by his employer Safran Seats GB who make aircraft seats in Cwmbran.

Dale’s wife, Emma, who is a teaching assistant at a local primary school, saw a design for PPE visors on the web and between them they have been working shifts day and night to produce the facemasks on their 3D printer at home. 

Between them they have now provided hundreds of protective face masks which have gone to:

  • Panteg County Hospital
  • Churchwood Surgery
  • TyCeirious Nursing Home
  • Panteg Nursing Home
  • Talygarn
  • Blaina Surgery
  • Gateway Church Charity
  • Individual key workers

Dale said: “When you hear about the significant risks our dedicated frontline workers are taking to do their critical work and listen to what a difference they are making, you have choices.  You can either choose to continue listening or try to make a positive contribution however big or small. We just need more materials donated now so we can keep up with the demand for the facemasks.”

Dale’s sister Kathryn and her husband have also joined the production line, printing the wishbone headbands around their own work commitments.

Kathryn who is a teacher at West Mon, said:  “Our reasons for getting involved are quite simple, we wanted to help key workers during this crisis. We teach, practice and preach ‘A mind to be kind' in school and this was definitely a time to put words into action.”

Safran Seats have now given Dale a second printer and supplied filament and acetate sheets and Dale is now connected to an online network that has been set up on Facebook to produce the life-saving PPE.

To donate old acetate (240 micron clear binding sheets), email: who will make arrangements to collect donated resources

Last Modified: 22/04/2020 Back to top