Staff in Burton and South Derbyshire College’s (BSDC) Sign and Print Academy recently used laser cut technology to create personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in local care homes. Andy Tipper, Teaching and Learning Technician and Bill Moorley, Course Leader for Art and Design/Product Design created PVC and Polypropylene face shields using laser cutting machinery, producing up to 90 per day. It took approximately 40 minutes to cut each sheet which produced 10 headbands. Then they had to be separated and cleaned before the PVC visors were hole-punched and assembled to the headbands.
The College’s Sign and Print Academy in partnership with Hardy Signs links design with high specification printing and 3D rapid prototyping equipment. The Academy enhances the College’s graphics and creative curriculum and was launched to help fill the skills gap in the sign making and product design sector. Over 800 face shields were donated to local care homes and charities between May and July to help them limit the spread of Covid-19. While the shields are not surgical visors, they provided much sought after PPE to staff in care homes with limited supplies.
The College has established links with all of the care homes and charities it donated PPE to as they have previously worked with the College to provide work placement and industry placement opportunities for health and social care students. These include, Castle Court Care Home, Oakland Village and Community Care Centre, Far Fillimore Care Home, Charlotte James Care Home and Bladon House School Children’s Home.
Andy Tipper, Teaching and Learning Technician at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “We were delighted to be able to use our equipment and know-how to produce PPE equipment for care homes when they needed it most. These are unprecedented times with high demand for face shields for all front line health and social care workers. The visors we donated have assisted key workers with the important job of supporting and protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Nicola Yeomans, Registered Care Home Manager at Far Fillimore Care Home said: “We would like to thank the staff at Burton and South Derbyshire College for thinking of us and providing essential protective wear that will help to keep our residents and care team safe.”