Yarm School staff are implementing initiatives to support NHS workers in the local area and provide them with essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect them from COVID-19.

Ashley Law, head of chemistry and assistant director of studies at Yarm School made packs of PPE such as goggles, safety glasses and face visors from the school’s science and design and technology departments. This equipment has been provided to three local GP practices and are already being used on the front line of the efforts to tackle COVID-19.

The school wanted to do more, and the head of design and technology, Ian Barrett, worked with other members of the department, using specifications available online at www.make-more-masks.com, to produce a prototype acetate face visor for frontline NHS staff.

On the same day that the school made the prototype, and having scoured the school for the required materials, they completed a run of 150 visors which have now been allocated to a range of NHS settings to protect front line workers.  Following that, and after another adjustment to the design, the team were able to make a further 120 visors.

Dr Huw Williams, headmaster at Yarm School, said: “We wanted to do as much as we could to support society’s efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

“Like many schools, we are running a skeleton operation to look after the children of key workers, but we realised that we have the facilities to do more – such as the laser cutter in DT – and my colleagues were eager to contribute.  There has been a very positive response to our efforts, and the visors are already being distributed and used in a number of settings, including community COVID ‘hot hub’ clinics, to protect doctors and nurses helping patients who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

“I am incredibly proud of the Yarm School community for their continued efforts to support frontline staff and we are immensely grateful to local businesses and our community who have offered to donate the key materials we require to make more visors.”

Mr Barrett said: “We’re thrilled to be able to support frontline staff during this time.

“To be able to increase production, the school requires a range of materials and is hoping that the local community will be able to continue to support our efforts. To make these protective visors, the school needs A3 or A4 sheets of Acetate or clear PVC, 16cm strips of upholstery foam or small blocks of foam, velcro self-adhesive or double-sided tape 2.5cm wide, 35-40cm strips of elastic 25mm wide and 1, 1.5 or 2mm thick plastic or 0.5mm polypropylene.“If anyone can help, we’d love them to get in touch.”

To support the project, please contact Mr Ian Barrett on ib@yarmschool.org