A North East academy trust is providing face visors for the region’s key workers as the fight against COVID-19 continues.

Staff at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Hebburn, South Tyneside, part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, have made over 500 face visors, distributing them to a range of frontline organisations.

The North East Ambulance Service, South Tyneside and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals as well as local food banks and care homes across the region have all received face visor supplies.

Partner schools in Sunderland and East Durham have also been using existing materials in their design technology departments to make the personal protective equipment (PPE) with St. Anthony’s Girls Catholic Academy in Sunderland providing hundreds for the Sunderland Royal and University Hospital Durham.

However, the schools are now calling for donations from the wider community so that they can continue to provide much needed supplies.

Peter Mitchell, headteacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, said: “The idea came from our design technology teacher Helen Cobain who, after seeing similar activity on social media, realised our school could play a fundamental role in helping to protect key workers who are delivering vital services during this crisis. With the local knowledge of colleague Mark Leask, all visors have been sent to the organisations which need them the most.

“We are fast running out of polypropylene and acetate sheets which are needed to make the visors so we’re making a plea to our local community and businesses. If you have access to these materials, or know someone who does, please do let us know.

“I’m really proud of our staff during this time of great need who are not only caring for vulnerable and key worker children but playing a role in protecting the lives of those on the frontline – something we can continue to do with the public’s help.”

To meet the demand for ongoing requests from local health and social care services, the schools are aiming to make hundreds more visors over the next few weeks.

Brendan Tapping, Chief Executive Officer at Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, said: “Community spirit and our role in supporting this and working in partnership with others, is one of the trust’s key values and reflected across all our schools.

“It’s wonderful and very much in keeping with the spirit of the trust that St Joseph’s and the other schools we work closely with are able to play such a key role in helping frontline workers during such unprecedented times.

“As well as learning and education, schools are vital community hubs and are demonstrating that more than ever right now in many ways, including the provision of vital PPE.”

If you can help in the provision of polypropylene and acetate sheets, please contact: