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Academy makes PPE for NHS frontline

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By Abbey Morton
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Academy makes PPE for NHS frontline

STAFF at Wallace Hall in Thornhill have been working together to help support frontline workers across Dumfries and Galloway.

Teaching and support staff from across the primary and secondary school have been working on a rota basis, manufacturing full face visors for use by frontline workers tackling the Covid-19 outbreak. The idea was initiated by principal teacher of design and technology Neil Corrigan, above, who realised that the technology to make the PPE lay within his department, so designed a new lock-together acrylic visor that could be sterilised for re-use. After a few prototypes, he finalised the design and set about manufacture.

And he said: “Our head teacher Barry Graham was very supportive right from the start. It was clear that there was a high demand for these visors as soon as I started making them. Many items of PPE were readily available, but full face visors were difficult to get hold of anywhere.

“There are other designs being made, but mine was very efficient because you could make a lot of visors quickly, with very little wasted material, so I posted the design online. I was thrilled to be contacted by schools from all over the country who wanted details so they could make them too.”

Neil took up an offer of help from colleague Sean Dawson and between them they started producing visors to demand. To meet that demand they put a call out to staff across primary and secondary schools and the response was ‘overwhelming’. Neil said: “We had offers of help from every department and all roles within the school. Even colleagues who were self isolating or couldn’t manage for other reasons sent in messages of support. “

We discussed a plan to take forward the idea which took into account staff training, health and safety as well as ensuring we could adhere to recommended social distancing for the production line.” They are now producing over 100 visors every day – one day reaching 180.

Head teacher Barry Graham said: “This has been a magnificent collective effort from the staff. “We are all so grateful to our wonderful NHS staff and frontline care workers and are delighted to be able to play a small part in supporting them to help us and all our families.”

DESIGNED . . . PE teacher Steven Rae with the wooden template

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