April 2020

Withernsea High School steps up to the challenge of supplying PPE

The national shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has been a much-publicised aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With overwhelming demand for such equipment both globally and nationally, there have been many stories of individuals, businesses and schools stepping up to help make more of these essential resources for use in their local communities. 

Withernsea High School has become the latest organisation to contribute to these efforts, with the creation of over 300 visors in just two days.

Using a design approved and circulated by the Design and Technology Association, the school’s DT department have employed laser-cutting techniques to create a simple but effective visor that is intended for use in conjunction with a face-mask, to help protect wearers on the front line from the dangers of Covid-19.

Leading the efforts in the manufacture of these items are Head of Faculty Nick Bullock and DT Workshop Technician Nick Mead.

Mr Bullock commented: ‘We are delighted to be able to use our facilities to produce these much-needed items of PPE. With materials in high demand nationally, we have actioned a design that is not intended to be used in place of a surgical visor, but for scenarios where the alternative would be no visor at all. Each visor is made of only four components, with each laser-cut sheet of plastic creating enough components to build seven complete units. This means they are not only quick to produce, they are also quick and easy to assemble.’

Headteacher Mark Crofts added: ‘Like the majority of the country, we are indebted to those working on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. So, whilst we have the facilities and the expertise, assembling these much-needed visors is the least we can do. Mr Bullock, Mr Mead and their volunteers were champing at the bit to get on with this, not least because the visors are needed right away. It’s brilliant to see how quickly they’ve got them turned around. A great example for all our young people of how local action can have immediate impact.’

In line with government guidance, the school is currently actively supervising and supporting a small number of students on site each week. As part of their in-school study programme, last week the group assembled a visor each in a controlled setting – allowing them to see first-hand the importance of Design Technology and manufacturing in a practical way.

Any local organisations who feel they would benefit from the use of these visors are asked to contact Mr Bullock at bullockn@wscampus.net

As previously stated, and in line with the design brief and strict safety guidelines, these visors are not intended to be used in place of a surgical visor, but in situations where the alternative would be no visor at all. They are not CE approved and are designed to be used in the absence of other PPE.


ABOVE: Year 8 student Amelia Wilcox was one of a small group of students who saw first-hand how the visors are created.

ABOVE: Nick Bullock (Head of Design Technology) next to one of the laser cutters

BELOW: A close up of a laser cutter, showing a sheet of plastic being cut to create the necessary components.

ABOVE: Footage of the laser cutter in action.