Education, Latest News | Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2020 at 5:07 pm | return to news

Old boy to the rescue as a New Milton school prepares for students to return

A school that had given all its PPE away at the beginning of lockdown have been gifted 120 face shields from a former student.

Students at The Arnewood School test out donated face shields
Students at The Arnewood School test out donated face shields

Christian Underhill has donated 120 shields to Arnewood School in New Milton 120 face shields. He 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.

“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,” he said. “Fortunately I was able to donate 120 and was really proud to support Arnewood where I have really fond memories.

“I know 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 going on and this is why they needed the face shields.”

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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.

“The donated face shields will be available to those students and staff who wish to wear them.

“Our 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.

“Our Years 10 and 12 will be able to come back later in the term in a carefully-phased approach for limited periods during which safety will be of the upmost concern.

“Therefore to have the face shields available will give protection and also confidence.

“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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