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Ellesmere College makes masks for hospital and hospice workers

By Dominic Robertson | Ellesmere | Coronavirus | Published:

A team from Ellesmere College is putting the school’s equipment to use in the fight against Covid-19 by making more than 1,000 essential face shields for Shropshire hospital and hospice workers.

Matthew Horton, Head of Design and Technology at Ellesmere College in Shropshire hands over some of the visors to staff at Severn Hospice.

The design and technology team has already self-funded and donated 200 face shields to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Severn Hospice.

They also aim to join with other schools who have supported Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and will help others that need their help due to personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages.

Now the group of teachers – key workers themselves – has raised more than £1,300 through crowdfunding to make another 1,000 for the frontline NHS and hospice staff.

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The face shields are composed of an acetate visor, and the head-band is made from polypropylene.

Matthew Horton, head of design technology at Ellesmere College said: “We wanted to find a way to help the frontline heroes who are putting themselves at risk every day to help others - and do our bit in the battle against Covid-19.

The production line

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“Concerns have been raised over a lack of personal protective equipment to protect key workers - so we’ve made use of our laser cutter to manufacture visors for them.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the rest of the team who have helped in making the first batch – Jonathan Haycock, Andy Lycett and Ian Williams; without whom this would not have been possible.

Additional material

“We initially exhausted all usable material in-house but Jonathan played a big part in gaining the additional material we needed for the first 200 masks.

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“Jonathan and Andy have also been instrumental in helping to source material that will help us to make at least another 1000 masks. They have both been fantastic and have been essential to making this successful.

“The workshop is going to be a busy hive of activity over the coming weeks and as well as the use of the laser cutter we will be getting our 3D printers into production to help the cause.

“We are trying to do as much as we can to help as this is a national emergency for PPE, I am very aware that a lot of DT teachers across the country are all doing the same to help.

The production line

“Files have been shared nationally to find the best designs; which in turn has allowed us to manufacture our own.”

Mr Horton said the JustGiving page was initially set up to raise £550 to make a further 1,000 visors but that target was quickly reached within 24 hours.

He said people had been “incredibly generous” and now any further funds raised which are not needed for materials would be donated to charities which are helping in the fight against Covid-19.

Anybody who would like to donate to the fund to make more PPE can do so at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ellesmere-college-faceshields?utm_term=NvyB3XvRr

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