Wigan charity workers use new 3D printing skills to raise money for people in need
and live on Freeview channel 276
Four employees at The Brick, which supports people in the borough facing homelessness or poverty, took part in a 3D printing skills course.
It was funded through Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Skills for Growth programme and provided by Serco and 3D 360.
The course saw the workers each build a 3D printer of their own, meaning the charity now has four printers to create fund-raising merchandise.
The Brick used the equipment to create coin holders for its £5 for Five campaign, which encouraged businesses to donate £1 a day for five days to pay for meals for children in poverty or go to towards an emergency food bank parcel.
The four staff members who completed the training have passed on their knowledge to the people they work with and support.
Wendy Doherty, head of fund-raising and partnerships at The Brick, said: "We are delighted to now be able to offer the people we work with the opportunity to use the 3D printers that we received as part of the upskilling of our staff, thanks to the Skills for Growth programme rolled out by GMCA. The 3D printing equipment donated from 3D 360 has been used to make items for our fund-raising campaigns and also as widgets in our bike workshop.
"It is the support of organisations and businesses like this that ensures we can continue to support the people in our community who need our help.
"We are looking forward to seeing what the team creates with our new 3D printer next year. There are lots of exciting ideas being discussed, so watch this space.”
Workshop mentor Colin Stein said: “I very much looked forward to the course, as having been in the industry with a large industrial conglomerate, I saw first-hand the amazing opportunity 3D printing is bringing to speed up the development of new products and concepts. I believe there are going to be tremendous opportunities in both the 3D printing and 3D CAD drawing sphere and anyone involved now will be ahead of the game in this developing technology.”
Skills for Growth is a three-year scheme, funded through the European Social Fund, which offers training programmes created with employers who have highlighted skills gaps they are struggling to fill.
Coun Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s lead for education, work, skills, apprenticeships and digital, said: “The work The Brick carries out to support people when they are in need is incredibly important, and we know these are challenging times for vulnerable people in our communities. By accessing Skills for Growth, The Brick now has an extra set of skills they can utilise to raise further donations and also support the people they work with.
“I would like to encourage other charities, those in the VCSE sector and businesses in the city-region to access the fully-funded training by searching for relevant programmes on the GMCA website.”