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Stour Valley Community School teachers in Clare answer call for PPE to keep front-line workers safe during coronavirus pandemic




Teachers at a Clare school are doing their bit to ensure hospital staff, care home staff and retail workers are being provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the forefront of the endeavours by staff at Stour Valley Community School is design technology teacher Dan Stephens.

He got to work after seeing an appeal from BT’s Adastral Park science and research hub, located near Ipswich, to create thousands of face shields for front-line health and social care workers in the East of England.

Stour Valley Community School DT teacher Dan Stephens wearing one of the face shields made in the school. Contributed picture (34949481)
Stour Valley Community School DT teacher Dan Stephens wearing one of the face shields made in the school. Contributed picture (34949481)

Initially, while still working in the school before being based at home, Dan created 50 face shields using APET plastic, with the help of the school receptionists, who tied on the elastic.

Following the start of the coronavirus lockdown and closure of the school, he took its only 3D printer to his home and began making brackets.

So far, he has sent more than 150 brackets to Adastral Park, to be used in the assembly of protective face visors.

Stour Valley Community School history teacher Lauren Howard with one of the scrubs tunics she has made. Contributed picture (34949487)
Stour Valley Community School history teacher Lauren Howard with one of the scrubs tunics she has made. Contributed picture (34949487)

But even more has been going on, as Dan explained: “We donated 200 pairs of goggles from science labs and design technology workshops to Newmarket Hospital.

“They were formed from a template and made by simply cutting and scoring.

“These went to Newmarket Hospital, Wickhambrook Surgery, Wickhambrook Stores and The Partnership in Care Group in Risby.”

The receipt of the goggles at Newmarket Hospital reduced two of the nurses to tears.

Dan said: “They were pretty happy when they got the delivery of goggles. I think they shared just four pairs between them.

“This is bringing the subject of design technology to the forefront.

“People are seeing the value in design technology, finally. It’s not just making bird boxes – we are about more than that.

“Adopting a collaborative approach, working with businesses and being able to do something productive is really important.”

Finally, as part of the PPE contributions by Stour Valley staff, maths teacher Christine Middleton and history teacher Lauren Howard, have been making scrubs as part of a co-ordinated approach on Facebook called Scrubs for West Suffolk Hospital.


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