Aeronautical engineer, John Lyon School physics teacher, temporary home-school teacher and mother of two children, Dr Florence Weinberg is also currently the manufacturer of essential personal protective equipment for the NHS. She was inspired following discussions with fellow teachers in the area and motivated by reports from friends and in the news of the lack of proper face masks for NHS staff. Over the Easter holidays, Florence borrowed the School's 3D printer and began to experiment making plastic face visors, using designs she found on the internet. The on-line community of Design and Technology teachers around the country helped Florence to adapt the design and perfect her visors.
The first masks which came off her home production line took 4 hours each to make. Despite modifying her processes, each mask still takes 90 minutes, but the results are worth it. Her first consignment of masks was delivered to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore in April, and the feedback she received was fantastic. She has now made an incredible 150 visors, as well as continuing her teaching, at home and at School on-line.
Speaking from her home in Hendon, Florence, pictured below making visors, said: "To be honest, I did not quite believe they would be so useful. It is hard to believe that one can make at home something that can save lives. But hearing nurses and doctors tell me that the quality of those masks are so much better than the ones they currently have, makes me sad and drives me to try and make as many as possible. These people are risking their lives every day and it is the minimum I can do to help."
Another member of staff, Courtney Burley, who joined John Lyon in 2019, entered and won a competition to design a signet ring with a leading London jewellery firm, to be put into production and sold for the benefit of the NHS.
Courtney’s design (below) incorporated two powerful ideas associated with medicine and healing: the words “First do no harm”, written by Greek physician Hippocrates, whose Hippocratic Oath
forms the underlying ethical rules of modern medicine to this day; and the snakes from the Rod of Asclepius, a symbol used widely in healthcare.
The rings will be made from sterling silver in the 360Jewellery workshop and then laser engraved to get the fine detail.
The ring can be purchased for £115 via a specially created PayPal page.
In addition to the above, students have been volunteering in the local community and the whole School will be participating in Values Day (7th May 2020) to raise money for the School's chosen charity this year, which is the London North West Healthcare Charity (LNWHC). LNWHC is based at nearby Northwick Park Hospital and is supporting hospital staff with vital care packages and mental well-being support.
This year each pupil and member of staff has been asked to complete a "2.6 challenge" at home to raise money for LNWHC. The School invites all OLs to join the challenge! Read more about it here