Apprentice wins prestigious City of London award

Apprentice Ukendar Vadivel, (17) from North-West London is awarded the Lord Mayor’s COVID-19 Livery Award recognising the contribution made by Livery Company members in 2020 in support of the City and communities impacted by the COVID19 pandemic.

The prize was for his innovative work in producing face shields for the NHS – whilst still at school. He purchased a stock of the raw materials needed to produce the masks before setting about the task of drastically reducing the time needed to manufacture them.

His award, presented by the Lord Mayor of London on 19 July 2021, recognises an extraordinary achievement in helping the community during the pandemic.

With support from the Worshipful Company Of Scientific Instrument Makers (WCSIM) where he is an Apprentice, Vadivel worked with a group called 3D Crowd, who had designed and obtained permission from NHS workers to produce a bespoke 3D-printed face shield.

By exchanging ideas and designs with the group he managed to get production time for the mask down from 3-4 hours to well under 2 hours.

“At one point, I was one of the top 10 producers of face shields in the London area, alongside one of my fellow schoolmates! This was incredible to hear,” he says.

“The past year hasn’t been easy on any of us, but when we can put our minds together, the community can make a genuine difference. Being a part of 3D Crowd and WCSIM taught me about the value of collaboration, and the power of working towards a common goal.

“I loved helping out the real heroes of our country, the NHS workers, who of course have given so much to the public to help the country get through the pandemic. I am incredibly proud of my own mother, who was on the front lines for at least two months, alongside all the other nurses at her hospital, and indeed across the country.