A small business which specialises in plastic injection moulding is calling on the public to help its mission to create tens of thousands of face masks for the NHS.

Stealth Mounts, which is based in Rivenhall, needs to raise £10,000 as soon as possible so it can begin mass producing plastic face masks.

The firm is currently producing 30 masks a day through 3D printing but estimates that figure could jump to 3,000 per day if it can raise enough cash to buy an injection mould tool.

Owner Mark Macdonald said: “It’s only three of us running this and it is very much our secondary business.

"We have been working in the day then moving onto this at night. I think I've had about four hours sleep in the last three days.

“I have another company in the horticultural industry which has been absolutely wiped out by the coronavirus.

“We set up a gofundme page on Tuesday evening because we just don’t have the money to be able to get the tool we need.

“The response has been amazing because we’ve already raised more than £1,000.

“The injection tool has been designed and is already to go. Once we secure the money for it, it should be built in about a week then we can start using it.”

Mr MacDonald says his company is in contact with the NHS and funding could well be available for the injection tool in a few months time.

But with experts expecting the pandemic to peak around Easter and the shortage of face masks in hospitals all too apparent, Mr MacDonald is hoping the public can help to bypass the ‘red-tape’ and raise cash through donations.

He said: “We are simply trying to use the resources we can and do what we can to help.

“Our masks will all be washable and can be sterilised so they will be reusable and we are making sure we meet the correct guidelines for them.

“It’s unbelievable to think the NHS doesn’t have the right equipment for something like this.

“It’s not just hospitals that need these masks, but it’s GPs as well who are on the frontline and dealing with people who could be carrying the virus.”

Stealth Mounts is in contact with some major hospitals in the east of England, one of which is said to be in need of 100,000 face masks.

Mr MacDonald says he hopes his company will be able to make tens of thousands of masks once secured.

To make a donation, visit the firm’s gofundme page here.

Stealth Mounts is also looking for suppliers of sheets of acetate, also known as overhead projector film, to help with the production of the masks.

The firm has secured 15,000 sheets so far and estimates a single sheet will be needed per mask. It however will need to secure more sheets if it is to produce thousands more.

To help, contact mark@stealthmounts.co.uk.