Priory School shows its support for NHS and community care workers

A PORTSMOUTH secondary school has been using its own resources to make hundreds of protective face shields for community care workers.

Saturday, 25th April 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 26th April 2020, 4:15 pm

To show their support for the local community, Priory School’s key worker children have also adorned the front of the main building with messages of support for the NHS and a giant rainbow – the symbol of hope and better times ahead during the pandemic.

Unlike other schools, Priory have been distributing their shields to care workers and community nurses working with the sick and elderly in the local area rather than hospitals.

A total of 140 shields have already been donated to Crescent Community Care and Caring For You. Both organisations provide care packages for people needing support in Southsea. An additional 40 protective masks have been supplied to Kare Plus who provide community nurses across the county.

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Priory School key worker children have decorated the front of the school building with a rainbow and messages of support for the NHS.

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Headteacher Stewart Vaughan said: ‘We were approached by a number of care providers who have workers who may not be directly on the front line but are still putting themselves in danger and need our support. We also have number of our former students who are working for these care providers and we were only too keen to help.’

The shields have been produced using the school’s laser cutter and the expertise of head of design and technology, Kay Coghlan.

Mrs Coghlan added: ‘We first became aware about the need in our local community by one of our students whose sister works for one of the care providers. A lot of personal protective equipment is rightly going to hospitals but we shouldn’t forget those people working in the community who need it.

Headteacher, Stewart Vaughan (back second from left), was keen for the school to help support the local community during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sarah Standing

‘So far I have made 208 shields. I plan to keep going for as long as I can but it’s becoming harder to get the materials.’

A spokesman for Crescent Community Care said the equipment provided was ‘essential’ and gave a ‘morale boost for our care workers’.

The department have also been making scrubs laundry bags to send to local hospitals to prevent the potential spread of infection from contaminated clothing.

Head of Design and Technology, Kay Coghlan, who has made over 200 protective face shields, and former pupil, Jamie Sculthorpe, who now works for Crescent Community Care who are set to benefit from the protective equipment.

The idea to display the giant rainbow was part of the school’s ethos of being at the heart of the community.

Mr Vaughan commented: ‘It’s an expression of one of our core values to support the local community. We’d seen a number of rainbows on people’s houses and decided it was something we would like to do.

‘It was produced by our key worker children who have parents working on the front line and is an expression of our pride for them and our support for the NHS.’

The school has also donated 150 sets of goggles to Queen Alexandra Hospital along with gloves and overalls.

Mr Vaughan added: ‘It’s important to be part of something bigger in working together to support those in need. One positive to come out of this adversity is the selfless ways people have supported the local community.’

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