A schoolgirl born with only one hand has been fitted with a new prosthetic – made by her classmates.
Lara Pincott, 10, never wanted an artificial hand but changed her mind when she saw brightly-coloured printed ones on TV.
Luckily, her technology teacher’s partner runs a 3D printing company which provided some printers which can produce a hand for as little as £6.
After a project involving the whole school, Lara now has a fully-working prosthetic which is so simple she can even carry out simple repair jobs herself.
She said: “Everyone was saying ‘can I shake hands with you’ – so I think they like it.
“It was an amazing day and was really interesting to see other one-handed children.
“Thank you to Mrs Saffer, David at Techielab, and Somerhill for literally giving me a helping hand.”
Year 5 pupil Lara decided she wanted a prosthetic after watching a CBBC report.
Her mother Lucinda Pincott, 45, of Tonbridge, Kent, said: “It was really an amazing feeling seeing all the kids there and getting involved.
“It’s been such a confidence booster for Lara too. She used to be a bit shy but she got up to speak to the whole school about her hand.”
“It’s been really positive and she loves having the hand. She has always been happy to speak about it but the kids at school think it’s a really cool new thing and are always asking her questions.”
Lucinda enlisted the help of Danielle Saffer, a technology teacher at The Schools at Somerhill in Tonbridge, Kent.
Her husband David runs local 3D printing company Techielab, which produces equipment capable of printing prosthetics.
The school then launched ‘Project Lara’ and encouraged pupils from across the country to join in, including some with one hand or no hands.
More than 50 prosthetics were produced in total and children who needed them went away with prosthetic hands.
These will now be distributed to people in need of limbs across the UK.
Pupils were given a simple mechanical hand as a starting point and developed them using technology provided by the school and Techielab.
Techielab spokesman said: “Our project is different from any other out there because we want the children to be more than recipients, we want them to be part of the discovery process. ”
A spokesman for Schools at Somerhill said: “From that first bit of CBBC in February to the this event in June; two hundred innovators in twenty teams building fifty hands in one afternoon.
“I am sure you will agree that Project Lara has come a long way. And it’s only just beginning.”
Students at the school will now work to improve the 3D prints which Lara uses on a daily basis.