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Congleton Teams Up to Fight Coronavirus

Keen to put their skills to good use, our Design and Technology Team produced a batch of PPE face visors to supply local NHS and frontline workers. After sharing their work on social media, they received so many offers of help and support from Congleton and surrounding areas, that a Just Giving page was created to enable them to raise £500 towards more materials.  After only a few hours the total had shot up to over £1,000 and is now almost £2,000, which will enable the Team to continue to supply vital equipment to all those who need it.

After speaking with frontline workers for advice and based on an existing design, the Team created a successful prototype, which is adjustable but does not use elastic as this can cause pressure, bruising and sores. The visors give enough space for a pair of glasses and allow a face mask to be worn underneath. The polypropylene headbands and clear acetate screens are both flexible and easy to clean.

Ninety-two masks were produced by the Team on their first day. These were shared between Heather Brae Supported Living Network, Heath View, Meadowside Medical Centre, Clayton Manor Care Home, Astbury Mere Care Home and Dr Robinson and Partners at Kidsgrove Medical Centre. They were also proud to be able to provide a mask to a former CHS student who is now an A&E doctor at Royal Stoke University Hospital

After the first day of manufacturing, the Team reviewed their processes, streamlining them to increase productivity. They now expect to be able to produce a further 4,000 visors based on the materials ordered and their current equipment. They would love to be able to make more and could do so if they had access to a third laser cutter. Any offers of materials or loan equipment would be gratefully received. The Congleton Education Partnership Trust (CECP) has also put out a request on behalf of both CHS and Eaton Bank for acetate to use for the visor screens.

The original 2D design, shared by Sandbach School, was tweaked to maximise production on our machines, enabling 60 full headsets to be produced per hour. Two laser cutters create each of the three sections of the headband, then the clear screen is guillotine cut and shaped with scissors. Before constructing the visor by hand, each component is sanitised. The completed visors are then placed into bags and distributed with a note from the Team and advice on cleaning. The visors are not NHS tested but, as most of the recipients currently have none, they are a welcome gift from the school and local community.

All staff are observing the Government’s recommended social distancing guidelines, are wearing face masks and gloves and using antibacterial cleaners for themselves and the finished visors.

Recognising the demand for PPE, the Design and Technology Department is also investigating the possibility of creating scrubs, looking at various patterns and fabrics that could be suitable. Fellow Design and Technology Team member, Miss Kenny, has already been volunteering for Scrubs for Stoke, making button headbands to protect nurses’ ears from mask elastic, scrubs wash bags and theatre hats. She is also making masks for a cancer patient and their family and for elderly people in the community.

Our Headteacher, Mr Barlow, commented on the Team’s efforts:
“I am so proud of the work that our Design and Technology Department has done to help protect our NHS and other essential workers. This is a difficult time for everyone and I have been delighted at the way that all of the CHS Team has stepped in to help, whether that be to provide PPE for frontline workers, volunteer for the NHS or to join me at school providing a safe place for vulnerable and key workers’ children.”

The CHS Just Giving page is active and the amount still climbing. You can contribute at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/congleton-high-school

A massive thank you to everyone for their support, offers of help and contributions to the Just Giving fund. Anyone who would like to offer materials or equipment or would like to enquire about supplies of masks should contact Head of DT, Mrs Stanier, on 01260 730123 or by email: kstanier@congletonhigh.com

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