A SCHOOL’S design and technology department are making their own personal protective equipment to send to frontline NHS staff working round the clock at Barnsley Hospital.
Horizon Community College made plans to support the hospital by creating visors that staff can wear to protect themselves when working near patients suffering with coronavirus.
Phil Robson, 47, is the subject leader at the school, and the one spearheading the scheme.
He said: “There’s a lot of schools and firms across the UK doing things like this to help the NHS, as the protective equipment they currently have either isn’t good enough or doesn’t exist.
“We’re trying to help people at Barnsley Hospital any way we can and by providing equipment to them, we hope that we can do our bit.
“We produced 30 on Wednesday and another 100 on yesterday to send out to them.”
Phil’s wife works at the NHS Sheffield Trust, so he has first-hand experience of how hard it is for staff during these unprecedented times.
“This is a national scheme and we’re hoping that a lot of people across the nation are willing to get involved, and so it’s been a success,” Phil said.
“We can currently make around five visors every 25 minutes, but there’s companies with greater facilities than ours that are making way more.
“We’re doing our very best at the minute, we’ve had positive and negative views on what we’re doing, but the hospital seem happy to take the equipment, so from our point of view we can’t do anything else.”
The subject leader, who has worked at the school since its opening in 2012, was keen to stress that this is only a short-term solution.
“This can’t be a long-term thing because there really needs to be actual equipment supplied to the hospitals,” he added.
“This is not an answer to the problem, we’re doing what we can to help, but in the long run this is not something that should be happening.
“All of the staff here are doing a wonderful job, whether they’re working from home and sourcing material, or if they’re helping out here in the department.”
Phil Storey, the associate vice principal at the school, is very appreciative of all the work the staff are doing to help out.
“It’s all the staff that are helping out right now, it’s not just the DT department that are getting involved,” he said.
“The IT department have been helping out with any technical difficulties that have been going on, and of course the DT department are a huge help at this time.”
Wakefield Girls’ High School have also made their own PPE, sending it out to Barnsley Hospice, and Cohens Chemist in Dodworth.
However, the materials are quickly running out, and the stock they currently have is extremely depleted.
DT teacher, Mr Carlin, adapted a design made by Kitronik, which is also used by Horizon, to optimise the visor sizes.
He said: “I’m so glad that I have been able to do something so positive during this positive time.”