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Teachers making thousands for PPE items for frontline staff

Teachers across Swansea are producing thousands of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.

SchoolsPPE

Visors, scrubs, wash bags and headbands are among the supplies that have gone out to social services, hospitals, care homes, pharmacies, carers, community nurses and others since the crisis began.

The Design and Technology Departments at some schools are using their own laser cutters & 3D printers to manufacture visors from approved templates to support community needs while others are working with Millennium Lasers in Llandarcy to assemble NHS visors that are cut by the company.

By the end of next week in excess of 20,000 are expected to have been produced. 

Other teachers are making use of their sewing skills to manufacture other items.

The comprehensive schools in Swansea include Gowerton, Bishopston, Morriston, YG Gwyr, Bishop Vaughan, Penyrheol, Birchgrove, Cefn Hengoed, Pontarddulais and YG Bryntawe along with Dwr Y Felin in Neath and there are also other links with schools out of county.

It means the schools are able to respond to emergency calls for items and in one instance 120 visors needed by one local hospital were rushed there within an hour of the call for help being made.

Parents are helping to source supplies of raw materials and production is now running at well over a thousand items on an average day.

This effort is also being supported by people in the community who are using their skills and equipment to join in.

A Gofundme page to raise money to continue buying materials called "3D Printer NHS / FRONT LINE Face Masks" has also been set up with more than £8,000 donated so far.

Ceri Thomas of Gowerton School, who is helping to coordinate the effort, said: "It has been a real team effort between our teachers and schools, businesses and the community.

"We are all just really pleased to be able to support those on the frontline who are doing an unbelievable job in responding to the current crisis. They really are the heroes."

Emma Pole, headteacher at Bishop Vaughan Catholic School, added: "It has been a privilege for our staff to serve our local community during this difficult time.

"We are humbled by the work of front line workers and we are pleased to make a small contribution to support them in any way that we can.

"It is also very positive to see Swansea's schools working together to support front line workers, these efforts have harnessed expertise and school facilities from across the city."

Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, Cllr Jennifer Raynor said: "I would like to thank all our schools and teachers who are involved.

"We all owe a lot to all the frontline workers who are performing heroics and I'm really proud that as well as providing childcare for critical workers our schools are supporting them in this way."

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