Teaching staff at two schools have been putting their technical skills to community use helping make vital personal protective equipment.

Staff from Workington Academy and William Howard School in Brampton have both answered the call to increase the amount of PPE face visors for frontline carers.

Staff and a student from Workington Academy’s Design and Technology department, led by Curriculum Leader Peter Robinson, have been using their school’s laser cutter in the production and assembly of the visors from polypropylene and acetate.

They have so far distributed more than 80 to care workers in West Cumbria including Richmond Park, Amathea, Newlands and Clarendon Grange care homes, Gregory House assisted living accommodation and Ava House community care service based at Northside community centre.

Peter said: “It is a privilege to be able to help these staff at such a difficult time.”

Meanwhile, from sister Cumbria Education Trust school, William Howard, Head of Design Technology Yvonne Dixon is working alongside local businesses and individuals to 3D print headbands for face shields.

Working together, they can print more than 100 a day, and recently delivered 1,000 to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary with more to go out this week.

The group, based at Warwick-on-Eden, has a Go Fund Me page at Help Keep Our NHS Safer and aims to 3D print 10,000 visors.

Yvonne said: “We’ve put the 3D printers to good use during the lockdown. They are going constantly making the headbands which are then attached to the visors. Lots of people have got involved and I guess we’ll keep going until someone tells us to stop.”

Anther member of the WHS DT staff, Miriam Stewart, has been supporting NHS staff and carers making scrub bags at home.