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School children make protective face shields for NHS staff at Shropshire hospitals

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Children of key workers, parents and teachers at a Shropshire school have joined efforts to make protective face shields for frontline #NHS staff at the county’s two hospitals.

Old Hall School in Wellington is using its collection of 3D printers to make the shields and has also called on parents who have printers at home to join their efforts. The project, which involves children still at school during their holidays because their parents are key workers, has been led by Head of ICT, Design and Technology Peter Ashley.

The team at school has also asked parents to help by using 3D printers at home and have provided a safe drop-off point at the school.

Mr Ashley said it had given the children and staff at a school a positive focus this week and they were delighted to be able to do something to help the NHS which is facing a massive battle against coronavirus. One of the key appeals in the area has been for protective equipment for frontline staff.

“We wanted to be able to help and I had seen that 3D printers were capable of being put to good use by printing protective face shields so I did some testing at home to ensure my plastic was suitable and it was fit for purpose and comfortable to wear,” said Mr Ashley.

“When I suggested it at school the children immediately took on the idea to make them with great enthusiasm. Many of their parents are working in the NHS at the moment and of course they are at school outside their usual routine. We are very aware that can create a certain amount of anxiety at a very worrying time for them,” he added.

“To involve them in this has really given them something positive and constructive to focus on. We have tried to ensure that is how the school feels at the moment and that it is a comforting environment but also one where their worries are addressed and we look at ways in which they can feel better about things.”

The masks will be donated to SaTH, which provides services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, to be distributed where they are needed. The team are planning on also making clips for face masks, to stop the elastic from chafing ears.

Headmaster Mr Martin Stott said he was very proud of all the school community which had seen staff step in to look after the children of key workers while also ensuring that children at home had a continued connection to school through online activities and programmes of school work.

He said families had also done all they could to support the school and children had adapted to new routines with a really positive and engaging approach.

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