TEACHERS at Liskeard School and Community College have turned their workshop into a manufacturing facility to make protective face visors for local health workers. Head of Technology Anne Yoxall and her team Tom Hurdwell, Cath Ward and Claire Naysmith began producing the equipment last week.

In just a few days they had made 100 visors which were distributed to community nurses at Liskeard’s Oak Tree Surgery,
Callington District Nurses, Tavistock Hospital, Liskeard Ambulance Station, Kernow House Care Centre, Morley Tamblyn
Lodge, and five residential care homes in the area. Requests have now come in thick and fast and the four are now waiting for a delivery of materials so they can crack on with the next batch.

‘The community nurses were absolutely delighted – they have each got one of their own. They said the visors are a better quality than ones they could have obtained, and they were having difficulty getting them anyway,’ said Anne. ‘They said they’d had poor quality ones which they’d had to throw away.

‘Another health worker I spoke to sent me a photo of a visor they had basically adapted out of a plastic bag with drawstrings. They were very keen to have some of our visors.’

The materials for the initial run of 100 were funded by £500 from the school itself, and local people have donated generously so that more can be ordered.

‘I searched online for a design and found one on a Canadian website which I was given permission to use,’ Anne explained. ‘It had a few problems, and we adapted it so it was much more workable.’ After Claire and Cath helped to create initial prototypes using a drill and a bandsaw in the workshop, Anne and Tom set about using CAD/CAM (computer aided design/manufacture) to make a visor that could be produced at speed using a laser cutter.

The mask has a sturdy plastic headband, with a thin, clear polystyrene visor that clips easily on and off, to facilitate cleaning and disinfecting. Liskeard is one of seven schools in Cornwall whose workshops have been busy making
protective equipment. The schools join businesses and volunteers in stepping into the breach of a widespread shortage of PPE. Cornwall Council has repeatedly asked Government for more supplies for frontline workers in the county.