Express & Star

Staffordshire jewellery-makers create PPE aids for frontline health workers

A Staffordshire family-run jewellers are churning out ear-savers for frontline health workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Clarke and Hayley Asprey-Clarke

Husband and wife duo Paul Clarke and Hayley Asprey-Clarke have made more than 2,500 pieces of the equipment so far.

The ear-savers, which help to support face masks, have been sent to West Midlands hospitals and care homes.

Among the recipients are New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton, Russells Hall Hospital, in Dudley, and The Princess Royal Hospital, in Telford.

Paul and Hayley, 46 and 37, from Kingslow, near Pattingham, make the ear-savers using a laser-cutting machine, called a Glowforge laser.

This cuts out pieces of perspex using computer-aided design into the ear-saver shapes.

Hayley said: "We have always supported charities. When the whole Covid-19 thing happened, we thought 'what can we do to help?'.

"The manufacturer of the machine sent emails to everyone saying this is how you make ear-savers, if you wanted to try it yourselves.

"My husband has been driving around and dropping them off to hospitals and care homes. We have even sent them as far as Canada and the US."

The couple have paid for the ear-savers out of their own pocket. Hayley says the materials to make the equipment does not cost much.

The ear-guards are placed on the back of people's heads and hold in the elastic bands of face-masks.

It allows for wearers of the equipment to use them comfortably.

They have been running their company called Aspreys & Clarke for about three years, with their office based at home.

They specialise in making personalised jewellery for clients.