Talented teachers are amongst an army of kind-hearted volunteers coming forward to support the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Working to approved designs, technology departments in schools across the region have set up their own PPE production lines assembling reusable protective visors for front-line healthcare staff.
Using laser cutters usually reserved for GCSE projects, staff are able to use their skills to produce 100s of the in-demand products.
One multi-academy trust, the North East Learning Trust, has seen all of its technology departments working together to quickly manufacture more than 300 of the visor design developed by online tech company, Kitronik. After a fresh delivery of polypropylene this week, Trust staff say they are able to produce and deliver a further 3,200 visors across the region during the Easter break.
Lesley Powell, chief executive officer of the North East Learning Trust, which manages nine schools across the North East, said: “NHS staff are doing an incredible job and we are happy to be playing our part in supporting them in their relentless effort to save lives.
“I am very proud of our hands-on technology teachers who have put their know-how and school resources to good use to provide these much-needed protective items.”
Last week health and care organisations across the region launched a central point of contact for businesses and other organisations interested in donating or supplying PPE.
Professor Chris Gray, clinical lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “We really can’t thank people enough for their support over the past few weeks. We have been blown away by their kindness during these unprecedented and challenging times.
“To see so many teachers, who have their own pressures to deal with, turning their hands to this is fantastic.
“We’ve also had around 20 offers from businesses and individuals since our wider appeal last week which we are now working through, as well as support from the North East Chamber of Commerce. This is exactly why we are known as a region that sticks together through the toughest times.
“While we are receiving supplies all the time from the NHS supply chain we still welcome bulk donations or opportunities to purchase equipment from businesses, whether they are local or further afield. We have a central contact point to make it easier for people to get in touch and ensure speedy transportation of supplies to our front-line teams.”
Businesses or schools who are interested in supporting the region can email email@example.com or visit www.nhsjoinourjourney.org.uk/key-documents-and-briefings/ppe/
Note to editors
Images and some film footage to support this can be viewed here PPE photos and videos
Schools which are part of the North East Learning Trust include the below. But there have been many more across the region who have offered support and some are mentioned below.
- Ashington Academy
- Bedlington Academy
In County Durham:
- Hermitage Academy and Sixth Form in Chester-Le-Street
- The Academy at Shotton Hall in Peterlee
- Teesdale School and Sixth Form in Barnard Castle
- Easington Academy
Other schools include:
- Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead
- Ian Ramsey CE School in Stockton
- Stockton and Riverside College
- Caldew School in Dalston, Carlisle
- Oakfields Infants in Low Fell
- Sedgefield Community College
- Consett Academy
- North Yorkshire School
For details of specifications for items people can contact firstname.lastname@example.org