Burnley high school working around the clock to produce PPE for 'heroic' key workers

A Burnley high school is producing 100 face shields a day to help key workers on the Covid-19 frontline.
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Sir John Thursby's head of design technology, Louane Frances, along with Phil Butterworth, Rob Broomhead, Mark Bithell and Tom Copley have being working non-stop for the past three weeks to produce the vital and highly sought-after PPE.

"I'd seen on the design forum pages that schools were helping out by producing these face shields so we decided to jump on the bandwagon," said Louane. "We came up with our own design at the start, and that's what we used for the first couple of weeks.

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"Then big design firms started sharing their ideas, so we have been looking at these and adapting ours as we go along."

Rob Broomhead, Phil Butterworth, Louane Frances and Mark BithellRob Broomhead, Phil Butterworth, Louane Frances and Mark Bithell
Rob Broomhead, Phil Butterworth, Louane Frances and Mark Bithell

The tireless team are now producing around 100 visors a day as demand shows no sign of slowing down.

At the end of each day, Louane sets off in her car on a delivery route that takes in hospitals, hospices, surgeries, care homes and anywhere else that has an urgent need.

"I dropped off a few at Burnley General because I have a contact there," she said. "They were shared with Blackburn as well. I then dropped some off at Pendleside Hospice and Chorley Hospital. We're now delivering to care homes, surgeries and are receiving requests all the time."

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Louane said the only real issue her team faces now is sourcing the materials needed to make the masks, and would welcome any donations from local businesses.

"We have been using thermoplastic, foam, cardboard, anything we can get our hands. The school has been great. We have been told we can order resources, but the more supplies we can get, the better."

Anybody who wants to donate materials can contact Louane on 07568521504.

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