School’s out – kind of – and Wallingford School’s Design & Technology workshop has turned into what sounds like a factory. Alice Walker, a Design and Technology teacher, and her partner John Cornelius have been producing face shields for the NHS at the rate of six every nine minutes. They have been joined by two other schools, St Bartholomew’s and Mary Hare in Newbury, and together they have already produced over 3,000 shields.

Alice and John set up a Facebook page in mid-April to raise funds to buy materials for the face shields. In 16 days, it raised £6,000.

Alice Walker and John Cornelius

“We now have the material to make 12,000 shields,” Alice says.

Alice got the designs for the face shields from the internet but had to slightly modify them to match the software their laser cutter in Wallingford uses. Her ex-colleagues and acquaintances Martin Turner from Newbury and Michelle Flannery from Mary Hare School came along, tripling the production capacity. Steve Holden has been distributing the materials to the other schools and helping them set up while other members of the Design & Technology team have been delivering the face shields all over the county.

“We have now distributed to local care homes and hospitals as orders have come in,” Alice says. Abingdon Minor Injuries Unit received 100 shields on Friday, and Wallingford Community Hospital has received 500. All current orders are now fulfilled so Alice and rest of the team are producing for stock.

“Nobody knows how long this is going to go on,” Alice notes.

“The face masks will make such a massive difference to the staff working in urgent care,” said modern matron Mandy McKendry from Abingdon MIU.

“Being on the very front line it is always difficult to pre-empt what may be needed when visiting patients, but this will go a long way to help provide support for our emergency practitioners. I have no words to express my level of gratitude!”

In the picture above, emergency paramedic practitioner Neil Carver gives his thumbs-up. A HUGE THANK you from everyone in Oxford Health to Wallingford, St Bartholomew’s and Mary Hare Schools!

If your organization would like to order face shields, please email: socialmedia@wallingfordschool.com

To donate to the school’s PPE effort, please visit NHS and Frontline PPE.