Pocklington School staff are supporting the NHS, carers and the local community in the fight against coronavirus by supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) and helping those in need.
Staff produced more than 500 face shields to meet requests from the neonatal intensive care unit and A&E unit at Hull Royal Infirmary, the intensive care unit at York Hospital, the cancer ward at Castle Hill Hospital, GP surgeries, care homes, St Leonard’s Hospice, a special needs school and a secure mental health unit.
Jenny McDowell, Head of Chemistry, began the drive when she contacted St Leonard's Hospice and local GP practices to ask if they needed any safety glasses from our school’s Science labs. Their responses showed there was a clear demand for PPE equipment, and Mrs McDowell was also concerned about her GP sister and colleagues helping to fight the coronavirus in Rotherham.
Fellow science staff were keen to help and offered their support and resources. The Head of Design Steve Ellis then used his skills in the Art and Design Technology Centre using the 3D printer with Jenny McDowell and produced 48 protective face visors paired with donated elastic.
Publicity from the first consignment, which was dispatched to local doctors’ surgeries, and key NHS workers in Rotherham, led to more requests for PPE help – along with more volunteers from teaching and support staff who wanted to contribute to the effort.
Mrs McDowell said: “We were pleased to be able to match all the requests that came. A big thank you to everyone who has helped; it’s been a fantastic team effort!”
Staff members from across the School have also been joining the drive to help protect key workers. Kim Burnside, Day Matron at Fenwick Smith House, has also been busy sewing NHS drawstring bags and scrubs.
Heather Young, Head of Religious Studies, is a volunteer NHS responder and has been knitting hearts for intensive care patients and bereaved families. Head of Geography Rebecca Brennan has been active in the local community, collecting medication, shopping and distributing Covid-19 leaflets.
Art teacher Olivia Morris is an area coordinator for Pocklington’s volunteer community team, supporting the isolated and vulnerable, and Prep School Year Two teacher Romney Walton is also part of the community hub. Year One teacher Bonnie Steel has been making face masks with her children for the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Many Prep School pupils have created colourful posters in support of key workers and keeping communities safe, and Year Two pupil Sawyer has become a pen pal with John, a 100-year-old resident of a Royal British Legion care home.
Chatta, the award-winning online learning approach developed in partnership with Pocklington School, is available free of charge to families during the crisis. So far, more than 3,000 families in 20 countries have downloaded the ChattaClub app to receive daily activities by email or, for older children, the Chatta Club+ app, to receive weekly activities.