SCHOOLS, colleges and universities have continued to use their resources to help relieve the pressure on the NHS by making and distributing PPE for frontline workers.

With the continued national news updates that many keyworkers and care staff do not have access to PPE, staff from many educational institutions across the Bournemouth area are helping to make up the deficit but producing much-needed equipment.

Arts University Bournemouth has been using its 3D printing facilities to manufacture more than 2,000 Covid-19 protective face masks to give to NHS staff.

Professor Paul Gough, Principal and Vice Chancellor at AUB, said: "I'm so proud of each and every member of the AUB community, our staff and students, who've pulled together at this difficult time to make sure that we're able to play our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“We've been able to engage with the community to supply vital PPE equipment from our studios and workshops to local healthcare providers, and we're now producing NHS-tested face shields for front line medical staff in our workshop, with more than 1,500 being made from scratch over the next week.”

The specialist arts university, which closed its campus and moved to online teaching more than two weeks ago, had already collected up items of its own PPE equipment, stocked for studio and workshop teaching, and delivered these to local surgeries.

The 3D printed equipment, manufactured under strict social distancing and hygiene practices, has been funded by AUB and developed via publicly available ‘open-source’ design plans.

So far, the equipment has reached healthcare teams across Hampshire and Dorset, including Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre in Poole and Westbourne Medical Centre, as well as surgeries and practices in Highcliffe and Lymington.

Jill Tobin, Practice Manager at Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre in Poole, said: “Thank you so much, the visors are absolutely great and will make a real difference to the local GP practices, especially in the Poole Central RED clinic that we have set up to see suspected COVID patients.”

The Swanage School are continuing to create PPE equipment, producing and distributing around 500 to date.

The school are working with Budmouth College and liaising with Poole Grammar and other schools to pool resources and get as many made as quickly as possible.

However, like many schools across the country making PPE, they are quickly running out of resources. With many of their suppliers closed, they are appealing for other companies to step forward in order to reach the demand.

Head Teacher at The Swanage School Jenny Maraspin said: “Our school Facebook is filling up with requests, good wishes and shares.

“There is a big movement across DT departments growing but we will run out of material soon.

“Our staff and students are coming in every day to get these made and out. Three members of staff and one of our students were in school over the Bank holiday to try and meet demand, with one office manager driving and doing deliveries.

“We have received a donation from the USA of £100 to pay for sheets, he saw our Facebook post. We have enough materials to make 1500 more.”