Borders teachers producing visors for NHS staff

Teachers at schools across the Borders are using the school shutdown to manufacture PPE visors for NHS Borders staff and other carers who need them, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 9th April 2020, 12:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 1:50 pm
Visors like these are being produced at Borders high school for delivery to the region's health workers.
Visors like these are being produced at Borders high school for delivery to the region's health workers.

The visors are an important item of protective equipment, used as a face shield for those caring for patients who have the virus.

Several high schools throughout the region have 3D printers, which are used for projects in the curriculum.

And, since the schools closed, teachers have been using them to manufacture the visors to keep up the stocks at the Borders General Hospital.

The video here shows a headband being made by Selkirk High School’s 3D printer.

Stuart Meldrum, a craft, design and technology teacher at Kelso High School, is one of the teachers working on the life-saving project.

He told us: “I believe it was started by a school in Lochaber, and now it’s spread all over the country.

“They already had the design, so we began work on them and I think we’ve produced around 340 so far.

“The headbands are 3D printed, and the visors themselves are just clear film or acetate, which are punched with a hole punch so they clip onto the headband.

“You can also use laminate pouches, which are just put through the laminator.

“It’s not just schools who are producing the equipment, it’s also local companies, such as Promo Plastics in Kelso, and many members of the public who have a 3D printer or laser cutter.”

Mr Meldrum has posted details of how to make the visors, including the dxf file for the printers, online here, for anyone at home to join in the effort.

Paul Watson, a technician at Eyemouth High School, is also making the visors, having produced around 250 so far.

He said: “When the schools closed, I took home the 3D printer and made some of the visors for NHS England, as I live in Berwick.

“I’m now back working on the visors at Eyemouth High, producing them for local carers.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “We are fortunate that some craft, design and technology teachers have been utilising equipment within a number of high schools to produce protective visors, which is another example of the fantastic response from our schools to the current coronavirus outbreak.

“The protective visors have been tested and are compliant with the required safety standards.

“The council is now coordinating delivery of the visors for use by partners and community groups.”

The council is also co-ordinating a list of required items to keep the production line rolling, so that anyone with spares can donate.

We’ll update you with the details of these soon.