Hundreds of volunteers have gone back to school to help make vital protective equipment for the city’s front line health workers.
Usually the venue for assemblies and PE lessons, over the past few weeks the school hall at Carr Manor Community School has become a production hub where each day big-hearted local residents have been giving up their time to put together much-needed plastic visors for NHS staff.
The project is part of a team-up between the school and Cutting Edge Leeds, a manufacturing company and print finisher which has taken on the task of producing 900,000 visors for use in hospitals and healthcare facilities in Leeds and beyond.
Working safely and observing social distancing, more than 440 volunteers have been involved, including members of the school’s staff, parents and carers of pupils who attend CMCS and those from the local community.
In just a few short weeks, their efforts have produced more than 65,000 visors which will help protect medical staff treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff and pupils with sewing machines at home are even making scrubs, laundry bags and face-masks to support the project.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, employment and skills recently paid the school a visit to meet volunteers. He said: “Seeing first-hand the community spirit and dedication these volunteers are showing is genuinely inspiring and a wonderful example of how the city as a whole has pulled together to support our incredible NHS staff, health workers and each other.
“I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of those who have given up their time to make a difference and to the school and its staff for going the extra mile to provide a safe and welcoming venue.”
The school has pledged to continue helping until the company reaches its target and masks made at Carr Manor Community School are already being used at St James’s Hospital, with other hospitals also expected to put them to use.
Simon Flowers, executive principal at the school said: “Carr Manor Community School thought it would make an offer to support the making of visors for the NHS and that we would ask for volunteers from the school staff and from our local community.
“We were aware that many school staff were keen to be involved in this type of project but it has been very rewarding to witness the interest and commitment from the school staff and Cutting Edge which has allowed for us to establish a production line in school and to engage with dozens of volunteers who are supporting the assembling from their homes.
“The volunteers have made tens of thousands of visors already and with continued help, we are hoping to make many thousands more over the coming days and weeks. As is often said it is moments like these when you see the best of people.”