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Banff Academy teachers come up with a technical solution

By David Porter

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Big-hearted staff at Banff Academy have created more than 100 face shields for frontline workers.

Principal Teacher of Design & Technology, Caroline McFarlane, and colleagues Caitlin Paton and Roisin Steele made the equipment using materials in school and a laser cutter.

While adhering to the recommended social distancing proved somewhat of a challenge, it hasn’t stopped the enterprising trio from making around 30 masks an hour.

The equipment will now be distributed locally by the authority.

And an appeal on social media for more materials has enjoyed a truly tremendous response and will ensure the team can work towards its target of creating many hundreds of face shields in the near future.

Caroline explained: “There is such strong demand for this sort of equipment that we really wanted to do something to support all those who are working so hard on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.

“The face shields – although not to medical grade will provide a basic physical barrier for people who are continuing to work in a variety of frontline-facing services across our local communities.

“The response from our social media appeal for additional supplies has been outstanding and I would like to thank everyone for their support.

We’ve had offers of help from across the north-east and some people have been making purchases online and getting it sent to the academy which is just terrific.”

Banff Academy headteacher Alan Horberry said: “I would like to congratulate Caroline and her team for demonstrating outstanding initiative and teamwork during this very difficult time.

“The response to their appeal for additional materials to make even more face shields has been tremendous and again our thanks go to everyone who is supporting their efforts.”

Councillor Gillian Owen, chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council's Education and Children's Services Committee, added: "What a fantastic effort by the team at Banff Academy to supply much-needed equipment to frontline services.

“We are so impressed by teams' continued hard work and dedication during these difficult times and I'd like to say thank you to each and every one of you."

Working in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council colleagues, the plan now is to create little ‘hubs’ where similar manufacturing could be introduced.

Live Life Aberdeenshire has donated 3D printers for use, while economic development teams are looking to source businesses in the area which could produce face shields or provide protective equipment for their community.

Requests have been made on Facebook to supply local pharmacies, so if you have this capability please get in touch with econdev@aberdeenshire.gov.uk and a member of the team will get back to you.

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