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The Ebbsfleet Academy

A Brook Learning Trust Academy

Making and supplying PPE visors to the NHS

Yesterday, Wednesday 8 April, The Ebbsfleet Academy delivered their first order of personal protective equipment (PPE) visors to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.  Mr Jon Kelly, a design and technology teacher for The Ebbsfleet Academy, formed a small working group responding to the demand for PPE for NHS staff.

Mr Jon Kelly was prompted to take action when an academy supplier, Kitronik, shared a PPE visor design.  The design uses polypropylene for the headband, a low-cost material and can be easily laser-cut, and an A4 acetate sheet. 

Mr Kelly said: “I was confident that with a small amount of help we would be able to manufacture the visors in the academy’s design and technology workshop.  We already had the necessary materials in stock and the laser equipment needed to start production immediately.” 

The academy’s working party, led by Mr Jon Kelly, included members of his family Mrs Ling Kelly, his son Alex Barnes and friend, Alex Lister – a Governor for East Kent Hospitals University.

The small group, which has been following the Government’s social distancing guidelines during the laser-cutting production process, has made 150 PPE visors to date supplying Darent Valley Hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital and Kent & Canterbury Hospital.

Ms Gurjit Kaur Shergill, Principal of The Ebbsfleet Academy said: “What Mr Kelly and his small team have managed to achieve in such a short amount of time is fantastic.  It makes sense to use the school’s resources and equipment, which are sitting idle.  Thanks to Mr Kelly and his expertise we can contribute in a small way to helping to protect NHS staff on the frontline as they assist those in need.  It’s essential now, more than ever that we help and support our community however we can.”

Alex Lister, Governor for East Kent Hospitals University said: “It’s been great to be part of something that you know is making a difference to individuals in the NHS working night and day to save lives.  I personally want to thank Mr Kelly, his family and the academy for their support.  I can confirm that the PPE visors delivered yesterday have already been allocated and are being used.”

Mr Kelly concludes: “We have currently used all our stock of polypropylene, but thanks to Ms Shergill, who has kindly agreed to fund the purchase of more, we are waiting for a delivery any day now.  We will then be straight back into production.

“I would just like to thank other members of academy staff, Navpreet Gallimore, Director of Learning - Art, Design & Technology for sourcing materials and keeping us in production and  Nicola Vaughan, design and technology technician for organising the distribution.  It really has been a great team effort.”