Search

Blitz spirit is back as schools and colleges do their ‘bit to help’

PUBLISHED: 11:24 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 22 April 2020

Gary Silkstone, Hannah McKay, Esme Peters, Suzanne McKay and Nick Nelson from Colchester Institute's hand sanitiser production team  Picture: COLCHESTER INSTITUTE

Gary Silkstone, Hannah McKay, Esme Peters, Suzanne McKay and Nick Nelson from Colchester Institute's hand sanitiser production team Picture: COLCHESTER INSTITUTE

COLCHESTER INSTITUTE

Schools and colleges across Suffolk and north Essex are continuing to show their support to NHS heroes by making personal protective equipment (PPE).

Kesgrave High School has made more than 600 face shields in the battle against coronavirus, and is in the process of making 500 more  Picture: KESGRAVE HIGH SCHOOLKesgrave High School has made more than 600 face shields in the battle against coronavirus, and is in the process of making 500 more Picture: KESGRAVE HIGH SCHOOL

Technology departments in towns and villages all over the region have transformed into production lines for the NHS, many of which choosing to create face shields and scrubs for doctors and nurses.

Among them is Kesgrave High School in Suffolk, which has so far produced more than 600 face shields on top of scrubs, thanks to assistant head of design and technology Andrew Girling and his team of students and staff.
MORE: Follow all of our coronavirus news coverage here

Mr Girling said: “We were inspired after seeing the news about healthcare workers and carers facing a shortage of PPE and how schools were starting to make some for them. We just thought – if they are doing something, then we all should too.

“At first we made 50 shields for Burlington Road Surgery, the radiography team at Ipswich Hospital and a number of care homes – and when we reached 90, we thought we had made too much. But they had gone within 24 hours. We’ve now got a further 500 odd requests.

Staff, students and parents have been sewing scrubs for NHS workers and carers during the coronavirus pandemic  Picture: KESGRAVE HIGH SCHOOLStaff, students and parents have been sewing scrubs for NHS workers and carers during the coronavirus pandemic Picture: KESGRAVE HIGH SCHOOL

“It’s wonderful to show how D&T can be such a beneficial thing, but it is like the ‘blitz spirit’ is back – the idea this is bigger than all of us, and we should all do our bit to help.”

At Colchester Institute, students Hannah McKay and Esme Peter, led by applied science lecturer Gary Silkstone and staff have produced 20 litres of hand sanitiser for the maternity unit at Colchester Hospital, which director of midwifery Anna Shasha described as an “amazing act of kindess” she will “never forget”.
MORE: Join our Facebook group for the latest Suffolk coronavirus news

The supply was handed over to vice principal Gary Horne’s sister Louise Hawkins, who works as a midwife and ward sister on Lexden Ward.

Elsewhere at the college’s higher education campus, the fashion and textiles team has created 29 sets of scrubs thanks to a donation from Le Barre fitness classes – in addition to a ‘substantial’ donation of PPE to Colchester Police and Peabody Care and Support.

Dr Alex Davie, who works as a junior doctor in the A&E department at Ipswich Hospital, with his scrubs made by Colchester Institute  Picture: COLCHESTER INSTITUTEDr Alex Davie, who works as a junior doctor in the A&E department at Ipswich Hospital, with his scrubs made by Colchester Institute Picture: COLCHESTER INSTITUTE

A spokeswoman for Peabody said: “We are very grateful to the College for helping us with this donation.

“Our support staff are directly supporting people who are unwell as a result of the pandemic and we were struggling to get hold of PPE to provide the protection they need – the College helped us through a tricky time.”
MORE: Sign up to our newsletter for daily coronavirus updates


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star