HWF Schools Competition

The HWF: Innovation in a crisis

The Healthcare Workers' Foundation ("HWF") was formed at the very beginning of the COVID pandemic, in response to the sudden crisis healthcare workers found themselves in. HWF worked tirelessly to support frontline staff from the very beginning, as one of one of the first organisations to recognise the desperate need for more personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and immediately try to do something about it.

There was an international shortage of protective equipment, and what little was available was designed to be single use and disposable, which was both practically and environmentally inappropriate. The HWF did all it could to secure more PPE, working with builders and contractors to source stocks of PPE from building sites and factories, looking at new ways of decontaminating and re-using existing equipment, and even designing and manufacturing brand new designs at lightning pace to help tackle the crisis.

In early 2020, HWF fundraised over £1m, and used some of the funds to procure 65 3D- printers, leading the project hand-in-hand with a consortium of 3D printing specialists and designers to set up the country’s first ‘3D printing hubs’, creating a bespoke re-useable and environmentally friendly eye visor, printing 1,700 a day at peak capacity. We later used the same hub to print PPE directly from recycled ocean plastics, donated from Parley for the Oceans, protecting our environment and protecting healthcare workers, together.

In addition, we funded community sewing operations, to create tens of thousands of pairs of vital scrubs, to protect healthcare workers from transferring infection to others via their uniform. We also funded the country’s first BSI-approved permanent filtering face mask, a modified snorkel design, that could protect a single healthcare worker from infection forever - simultaneously vastly improving safety and also solving the mask supply crisis issue instantly.

Now that the PPE crisis has passed, we want to donate some of our 3D printers to be put to good use in new and innovative ways, to inspire and empower the next generation to tackle the next big crisis, as the HWF did, and all the while continuing to support healthcare workers who continue to suffer throughout the pandemic and beyond.

We want to encourage schools and their students to get creative and hands-on with technology and to think about how they too can make a difference. We are now offering schools in England, Wales and Scotland the opportunity to win a 3D printer, which will help to inspire students to solve the world’s next big problems.

Inspiring through innovation

Parley for the Oceans: 230,000 plastic bottles become life-saving PPE

The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation partnered with global environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans, in order to create a unique life cycle for marine plastic waste which is polluting the shorelines of the Dominican Republic.

Marine plastic from the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea shorelines surrounding the island was collected and made into plastic pellets – Parley Ocean Plastic®. The pellets were then converted into plastic sheets before being cut into shape and paired with a 3D-printed headband at Makerversity in London to produce 50,000 visors, 50% of which were then donated back to the Dominican Republic to protect healthcare workers there as well.

Oxford Inspired

HWF provided funding to support the first phase of an exciting project from Oxford Inspired: the Snorkel Mask Project.

A group of surgeons adapted a commercially-available full-face snorkel mask to produce sustainable, reusable respirators, that a single doctor or nurse can use for a month before needing to change the 75 pence filter. Thanks to the HWF, this is now the country’s first BSI-approved device of its kind.

The SHIELD/Makerversity 3D Printing Project

In early 2020. HWF set up SHIELD, to allow collaboration between medics, industry leaders and experts to create innovative solutions to tackle the crisis of demand for PPE. SHIELD developed new designs of sustainable masks and visors as well as other critical PPE that could be produced on a mass scale. SHIELD launched the country’s first 3D printing hub to generate 1,700 sustainable visors a day, producing and sourcing over 100,000 visors in total.

Snap Happy

Super Snaps partnered with HWF to produce personalised, wearable, polaroid photos for the outside of NHS workers' scrubs, so that colleagues and patients can still see each other's faces even when wearing full PPE.

This allowed staff to communicate much more and made the whole experience much less frightening for patients who could see who was caring for them, enabling better connections to be made and providing reassurance.

Collaboration with Rolls Royce, Sew Sussex and SHIELD

HWF partnered with Sew Sussex's 1,600 skilled seamstresses and funded £70,000 of material, allowing 2,000 essential protective scrubs to be made per week for NHS workers. The materials for the scrubs were purchased by HWF before being cut by Rolls Royce, made by Sew Sussex and then delivered by SHIELD.

Fantastic teamwork delivered much-needed PPE to enable us to keep more healthcare workers safe across the UK.

HWF Schools Competition

How to Enter:

To enter the competition to win your school a 3D printer, simply register your school as an HWF fundraiser on JustGiving and download the lesson plan.

Ways to win:
  1. Fundraiser

    Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise! The top 5 fundraising schools in each region by the end of the competition will be awarded a 3D printer and a starter supply of plastic, as well as a visit from the HWF charity team to deliver a talk to the students about our work to inspire them to get going!

  2. Big Ideas Design Competition

    Registered schools that each fundraise a minimum of £200 can also enter their students into the Big Ideas Design Competition (see below for details). The single winning entrant in each age group in each region will win a 3D printer and a starter supply of plastic for their school.

How to Enter the Big Ideas Design Competition:

To be eligible to enter the Big Ideas Design Competition:

  • Designs relating to the Big Ideas theme below must be submitted by or on behalf of students at a school registered in the competition (as specified above)
  • Registered schools must have fundraised a minimum of £200 per school (preferably more!) by the competition specified deadline in their region.
  • Students must be within one of the pre-specified year groups at the time of submission
  1. “What would you invent to solve one of the world’s BIG problems?”

    Draw or paint a picture of your invention on the competition form, (available to download below) along with as much or as little information about it as you want.

    The competition is judged on practicality, imagination and presentation, taking into account your age.

  2. When you have finished your picture, write your name, age, school, and year group. We will contact your school if you win, so make sure you include this information!
  3. You can ask an adult to take a photo or scan a picture of your drawing, and check all the details, and then email it to us at competition@healthcareworkersfoudation.org. Information accompanying your picture can be provided as text in the submission email, or as a separate picture attached to the same email.
  4. Entries must be received on or before the final day of the competition. Deadlines for each region will be added to our website.
  5. Good luck!
What is the Big Ideas Design Competition judged on?

Entries to the competition will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Practicality
  • Imagination
  • Presentation
What are the age categories for the Big Ideas Design Competition?

The competition is split into the following year group categories. Each year group in each region can win a 3D printer for their school.

  • Years 3-4
  • Years 5-6
  • Years 7-9
  • Years 10-11
  • Years 12-13
What regions is the competition running across?

The competition will be open to the following regions;

  • Scotland NOW OPEN 13/10/21 – 11/2/22
  • North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England
  • South East, South West
  • Greater London
  • Wales
Fundraiser - Registration Forms
Big Ideas Design Competition

Fundraiser Competition and Big Ideas Design Competition – Terms and Conditions

Schools and individuals wishing to participate in the Fundraiser and/or the Big Ideas Design Competition (together, the “Competition”) established by the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation (“HWF”) are required to agree to and comply with the following terms and conditions, together with any further conditions HWF may reasonably specify (together, the “Terms and Conditions”).

By applying to register with HWF in connection with the Competition, the person making such application will be deemed to (i) state that such person has capacity and authority to agree on behalf of their school to enter into the Competition and (ii) agree on behalf of such school to comply with the Terms and Conditions in full.

Participating Schools

  • For students to participate in the Competition, their school must (i) register with HWF using the application form linked on HWF’s website and (ii) agree to fundraise for the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • Schools must be located in any of the specified regions in Scotland, England or Wales in order to be eligible to participate in the Competition. Schools located in Northern Ireland are not currently eligible to participate in the Competition.
  • In order to be eligible to win a prize in the Competition, participating schools must raise a minimum of £200 via a webpage established on the JustGiving online platform, ensuring that such webpage links to The Healthcare Workers Foundation (Charity Registration Number 1189737). HWF shall be entitled to exercise full discretion in determining whether such fundraising condition has been met.
  • HWF may require proof from participating schools, or from persons submitting entries on behalf of participating schools, of evidence of eligibility to participate in the Competition. Failure to provide HWF with such evidence (or any other information as HWF may reasonably request) within a reasonable period of time may result in disqualification from the Competition.

Submission of Entries

  • Students must be within one of the specified year groups at the time of submission in order for entries to be eligible for consideration.
  • HWF must receive entries from schools in each region by the specified deadline for that region. The deadline for each other region will be the date specified on HWF’s website from time to time. Entries received after the relevant deadline will not be considered.
  • Please don’t post your artwork to HWF. HWF will only accept entries submitted by email to competition@healthcareworkersfoundation.org and will be unable to return any artwork sent in by post.
  • If you will be taking a photo of your artwork to send to HWF, please make sure you use natural lighting where possible. Dark or unnatural light can result in distorted image colour/appearance.
  • HWF reserves the right to reject submissions that are incomplete or non-compliant with these Terms and Conditions.
  • HWF will not be responsible for entries that are not completed or are lost or delayed for any reason (including, without limitation, technical or computer failure, power outage or any other circumstance beyond HWF’s control). HWF will not provide confirmation that any entry has been received.
  • All entrants under 18 should obtain permission from a parent or guardian before entering the Competition.
  • Winners shall be selected by HWF in HWF’s sole discretion. Such decision shall be final, and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into by HWF in connection with its selection of successful schools.
  • HWF shall contact successful schools following the deadline for submission of entries in each relevant region, using the contact details provided in the relevant application form. Any change in contact details should be notified to HWF at competition@healthcareworkersfoundation.org. If successful schools cannot be contacted, or have not provided HWF with sufficient details to receive a 3D printer, printing plastic and/or any other prize awarded in connection with the Competition (a “Prize”) within 14 days of being contacted by HWF, HWF reserves the right to offer such Prize to another participating school.
  • HWF reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Competition at any time if HWF deems it necessary or if circumstances arise outside of HWF’s control.


  • Prizes are subject to availability. If for any reason HWF determines that it is unable to provide any Prize, HWF will use reasonable efforts to arrange for an alternative prize to be provided.
  • Prizes are not transferrable, and no cash alternative will be offered.
  • HWF shall take no responsibility at any time for the operation or condition of any 3D printer or other Prize, nor shall HWF have any obligation or responsibility to maintain or service any Prize (or to procure any such maintenance or servicing) following it being awarded.
  • HWF shall arrange delivery of Prizes to successful schools following selection of successful entries in each eligible region. All reasonable delivery costs shall be met by HWF, and delivery shall made by a third party entity selected by HWF. Neither HWF nor any of it employees, volunteers or related persons shall be responsible for any damage to or loss of any Prize in the course of delivery or in connection with any installation of any Prize.
  • HWF takes no responsibility for the operation or condition of any Prize as a donated item. HWF may in its sole discretion agree to replace any 3D printer, on one occasion only, if the 3D printer is damaged on delivery or installation, provided that any such damage or delivery is brought to HWF’s attention by the relevant school within one month of delivery.
  • HWF will arrange for successful schools which receive a 3D printer to be provided with a video tutorial relating to the use and installation of the 3D printer. However, the installation, use and ongoing maintenance of any 3D printer shall be the sole responsibility of the successful school. Under no circumstances shall HWF or any of its employees, volunteers or other personnel be responsible for the installation of any 3D printer or the training of any person in connection with such installation, further use or ongoing maintenance, nor shall such HWF or any such persons be responsible for any loss or damage arising from such installation, use of or failure to maintain any 3D printer.
  • Each relevant school shall be responsible for ensuring that any 3D printer is correctly and safely operated by suitably qualified and trained personnel, and neither HWF nor any of its employees, volunteers or other personnel shall be responsible for providing or verifying such qualifications and/or training.
  • HWF will supply an amount of plastic for initial use of the 3D printer. Further supplies of printing materials will be the responsibility of each successful school, and neither HWF nor any of its employees, volunteers or other personnel shall be under any obligation to procure the supply of further materials.
  • No insurance shall be provided or arranged by HWF or any other person in connection with any Prize, nor shall HWF be responsible for complying with, or procuring the compliance of any person with, any relevant laws or regulations relating to any Prize or its use.

Privacy and Publicity

  • Each participating school must, by not later than five business days after submission of an entry to HWF by or on behalf of such school, provide a copy of HWF’s privacy notice (which is available here) (the “Privacy Notice”) to all of those individuals whose personal data the school provides to HWF in connection with such entry.
  • The names, ages, year groups, images and town or county of residence of successful schools and their respective teachers and students may be used by HWF in connection with any publicity relating to the Competition or any future competition, or as otherwise set out in the Privacy Notice. Participating schools agree to participate in, and to use reasonable efforts to procure the participation of their teachers and students in, any further publicity reasonably requested by HWF.


  • HWF reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions from time to time. The latest version of these Terms and Conditions shall be made available on HWF’s website.
  • Insofar as is permitted by law, HWF will not in any circumstances be responsible for or liable to compensate any participating school (or their respective teachers or students) nor accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of accepting or using any Prize. The statutory rights of such persons are not affected.
  • If HWF reasonably suspects that there has been a breach by any person or any participating school of these Terms and Conditions or any other rules in connection with the Competition, HWF reserves the right to suspend or disqualify such person or such participating school from the Competition and any future competition.
  • These Terms and Conditions are governed by English law, and parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England in connection with these Terms and Conditions and any dispute arising out of them.