The Voice in your Community

Thomas Alleyne’s produce PPE to support the NHS



Access to PPE is critical for healthcare workers in the current climate and this has been the motivation for Design and Technology teachers at Thomas Alleyne’s High School who have already produced over 300 re-usable face masks to donate to the NHS and other local care providers.

Graeme Quigley, Head of Design and Technology at Thomas Alleyne’s, was inspired by work he saw from other schools on Facebook; he realised it would be feasible to produce PPE Equipment using resources in the school. With an initial donation from the school Graeme and his colleague, Trevor Swindlehurst, made a prototype using poly-carbonate and took this to Stoke Hospital for trials and testing. The design passed with flying colours and so production in school began using a laser cutter and bespoke design press. The total of visors produced is likely to exceed 1500 by next week.

The team of two has increased to a team of four who are able to work safely to produce the equipment together. The visors and ear protectors are made using the 3d printer to prevent cuts to ears from surgical masks worn by care workers.

The PPE have received lots of positive feedback; primarily for the sturdy design but also because they can be dismantled and sterilised for re-use and are more environmentally friendly. The school have already been able to donate masks freely to many local key workers including St Oswald’s Hospital, Sudbury Prison, St Mary’s Mount Care Home, Community Pharmacies and Balance Street District Nurses.

Graeme’s design has been shared on the school Facebook page and a short video that shows the process of making the masks has already been downloaded over 6,000 times, even by a school in Canada. Graeme explained “I feel that as we have the facilities in school to help, we need to do all we can to support healthcare workers in the local community”.

The school will continue to produce masks for as long as possible and has already received some donations to continue this work. One student sold tomato plants and raise £50 and other students in the keyworker school, inspired by Captain Tom, raised £100. The school also wanted to thank IDC facilities Ltd who made an incredible donation of £500. Students and staff members have donated money to support this work. A Senior member of staff at the school praised the work saying ‘we are a community school and are proud to support our NHS key workers and healthcare workers through the fantastic work of Graeme and his team’.