Harborough’s PPE hero is presented with his British Empire Medal after making over 15,000 pieces during the Covid pandemic

PPE hero Aaron Shrive has been presented with a British Empire Medal after he made over 15,000 pieces of vital kit when the Covid pandemic blew up.

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 1:04 pm
PPE hero Aaron Shrive has been presented with a British Empire Medal after he made over 15,000 pieces of vital kit when the Covid pandemic blew up.

Aaron, who was living in Market Harborough at the time, worked up to an incredible 21 hours a day as he produced over 6,000 face shields and 9,000 ear savers for NHS staff and care workers.

The PPE powerhouse and hi-tech wizard used his 3D printers to relentlessly knock out the life-saving equipment for hospitals, medical centres and care homes all over the UK in the spring of 2020.

As a result Aaron, who now lives in Desborough, was saluted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Aaron Shrive

And the thrilled former Robert Smyth Academy student was presented with his British Empire Medal by James Saunders Watson, the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, last Thursday (May 5).

Aaron told the Harborough Mail today: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“I was told about my very special award last December about three or four weeks before it was all announced officially.

“I was totally speechless when I found out about it!

Aaron Shrive's British Empire Medal

“This is a massive honour,” said Aaron.

“It was difficult to keep quiet about it to be honest.

“But when I was working away all hours producing all the PPE I never thought that I might be honoured one day – it never crossed my mind.

“It was a very intense couple of months right at the start of the coronavirus pandemic back in March and April 2020.

“The whole country was crying out for PPE, there was a huge shortage and people’s lives were on the line.

“And since I’m a 3D designer and printer I just immediately got down to work.

“I’d seen a few things online about what other people were doing to help out at the time and I just knew I had to act.

“I certainly don’t regard myself as a hero or anything.

“And it was made easier for me because a big part of the local community in Harborough rallied around me with donations and materials to help me get the job done,” said Aaron, who runs his own business.

“So many people made it all possible – and they can look back on what we did at such a tough time with a lot of pride as well.

“Looking back now it all seems so surreal.

“I’m still struggling to take in and comprehend what we did back then – and what’s happened since.

“I’ve also been invited along with my girlfriend Georgina to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday May 25.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be doing this,” admitted the supremely modest Good Samaritan.

Aaron said he dashed off to Belgian capital Brussels on the Eurostar train last Friday morning, just hours after being honoured.

“It’s funny because we’d been so looking forward to this break in Belgium but we’d been forced to postpone it once or twice during the pandemic.

“We ended up having a great few days over there,” said the public-spirited entrepreneur.

“We had a fantastic time and it was well worth the wait after all the hard work and all that we’ve all been through in the last two years.”