Plea to schools to help supply vital safety equipment during pandemic


Schools are being urged to donate thousands of pieces of safety equipment to help protect NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Science technician Leigh Preece, who works at Ormiston Horizon Academy, in Chell, is appealing to schools across the country to root out items from their labs and workshops.

He said: “There are currently 4,188 high schools in the UK, all with personal protective equipment that, unless already donated, is sitting unused while the NHS is trying to get supplies.”

It could include everything from gloves through to protective glasses.

Leigh, who has already been asked if he can help supply PPE to local surgeries, said the appeal would provide ‘vital equipment at a time of need’.

It comes as design and technology teachers at several Staffordshire schools have been busy making face shields for front-line workers.

Graham South, who teaches the subject at Clayton Hall Academy, has already made 55 visors in one marathon six-hour stint.

He said: “I used every scrap of material I had left in the workshop. I’ve used a laser cutter to make them.”

But the polypropylene needed for the headbands is now in short supply as other schools nationwide have also been re-purposing it to make PPE.

“I’m trying eBay at the moment to get the materials. I’m desperate to get back in there and make more visors,” added Graham. “There’s a bit of network of design and technology teachers doing this.”

Madeley School teacher Lee McCue with the 3D printer he is using to make face shields

StokeonTrentLive revealed earlier this week that Madeley School teacher Lee McCue has already taken more than 130 orders locally for face shields.

He has been using 3D printers from Madeley and Kidsgrove Secondary School, which are both run by Shaw Education Trust, to create the visors.

School staff at Crewe UTC have also made 80 face shields and are hoping to produce a further 150 next week.

And a laser cutter at Denstone College, near Uttoxeter, has become part of a visor production line.

Jackie Plewes, head of design and technology at the independent school, said: “The whole D&T team were keen to be involved and 50 were initially produced. These were snapped up very quickly and, since, then I have been approached by five hospitals, a number of local GP surgeries, carers in the community, nursing homes and even a funeral directors.

“In the current climate, where it appears difficult to access official PPE, especially full-face visors, there would appear to be a huge demand for them.”





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