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Old Boy Rides To The Rescue

The Arnewood School in New Milton has received 120 face shields from a former student who learned that staff had given all their PPR away at the beginning of the lockdown.

Christian Underhill wanted his alma mater to be prepared for a gradual re-opening when Year 10 and 12 students begin to return. He had managed to buy some stock in order to donate it to NHS staff, but then learned his old school could do with some.

Christian, who lives in Christchurch and is founder of HR consultancy MyAmbition, had already been working with the school’s students on eco projects. He said: “I had just started to source face shields to donate to those who need them most when I found out that my old school didn’t have any. Fortunately I was able to donate 120 and was really proud to support Arnewood where I have really fond memories.”

The school and the staff have been working incredibly hard through the crisis and have been in every day to look after the children of key workers. Detailed preparations for a return to school have been on-going and the face shields will provide a helpful resource.

Headteacher Nigel Pressnell said: “We are grateful to Christian for the donation because some weeks ago we passed the school’s PPE to the NHS frontline.” Our recent survey of children, parents and teachers indicates that a number of them would feel more comfortable about being in school with the option of having PPE. The donated face shields will be available to those students and staff who wish to wear them.

Mr Pressnell went on to say, “When Years 10 and 12 come back later in the term during a carefully-phased approach for limited periods safety will be of the upmost concern. To have the face shields available will give protection and also confidence.” He commented that “It is extremely pleasing to see a former student doing so well and getting involved in helping out during the coronavirus crisis.”

Christian, who left Arnewood sixth form in 1997 – the first year group to take A Levels at the school – is also manufacturing his own face shields for NHS staff. He has also developed ‘sleep packs’ containing a variety of products to help NHS staff get important sleep, and these too have been donated to NHS workers.

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