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Clare teacher puts his skills to use to help the war against covid-19




Teachers at a Clare school are doing their bit to ensure hospital staff, care home staff and even retail workers are being provided with PPE to keep them safer during the covid-19 pandemic.

At the forefront of the endeavours by staff at Stour Valley Community School is Design Technology teacher Dan Stephens.

He got to work after seeing an appeal from BT’s Adastral Park science and research hub near Ipswich to create thousands of protective visors for frontline health and social care workers in the East of England.

Dan Stephens with the 3D printer and some of the brackets. Contributed picture
Dan Stephens with the 3D printer and some of the brackets. Contributed picture

Initially while still in the school before then working from home, Dan created 50 face shields using APET plastic, with the help of the receptionists, who tied on the elastic.

Following the start of the coronavirus lockdown he took it’s only 3D printer to his home in Kirtling and began making brackets that are sent to Adastral Park and used in the assembly of face shields.

So far he has sent about 190 brackets.

Some of the face shield brackets made by Dan Stephens. Contributed picture
Some of the face shield brackets made by Dan Stephens. Contributed picture

But even more has been going on, as Dan explained: “We donated 200 pairs of goggles from science labs and DT workshops to Newmarket Hospital.

“They were formed from a template and made by simply cutting and scoring.

“These went to Newmarket Hospital, Wickhambrook Surgery, Wickhambrook Stores and The Partnership in Care Group in Risby.”

Stour Valley Community School DT teacher Dan Stephens wearing one of the face shields made in the school. Contributed picture
Stour Valley Community School DT teacher Dan Stephens wearing one of the face shields made in the school. Contributed picture

The receipt of the goggles at Newmarket Hospital reduced two of the nurses to tears of gratitude.

Dan said: “They were pretty happy when they got the delivery of goggles. I think they shared just four pairs between them.

“This is bringing the subject of DT to the forefront.

Stour Valley Community School history teacher Lauren Howard with one of the scrubs tunics she has made. Contributed picture
Stour Valley Community School history teacher Lauren Howard with one of the scrubs tunics she has made. Contributed picture

“People are seeing the value in DT, finally. It’s not just making bird boxes, we are about more than that.

“The collaboration approach and working with businesses and being able to do something productive, I think that is fundamentally important.”

Finally, as part of the PPE contributions by Stour Valley staff, maths teacher Christine Middleton and history teacher Lauren Howard, have been making scrubs as part of a coordinated approach on Facebook called Scrubs for West Suffolk Hospital.


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