Following rigorous product testing in Manchester 900 Helmsman Heavy Duty Inset Lockers have been installed by Manchester City Council in a publicly funded school.
The provision of lockers for school children is important to Manchester City Council, more so in recent years with the ownership of goods with re-sale potential such as iPods and mobile phones. With such items not allowed in lessons, the lockers were being broken into and the contents stolen.
Two other main problems were vandalism and the use of the lockers as a modern day test your strength game.
Manchester City Council interior designer and furniture consultant Rik Perkin explains:
"Decorative signage on the existing lockers was being ripped off numbers, handles, plaques etc. resulting in holes, which were both unattractive and tempting for those who wished to poke things through them such as lit matches. The lockers were also the recipients of single punches as children pitted against one another to see who could cause the biggest dent. If all this wasnt enough, the bottom lockers were frequently dealt a swift kick as the children walked past. When we added up the cost of fixing these sorry, beaten-up lockers it was exceptionally high in terms of both cost and time. It simply couldnt continue."
Faced with a locker problem that had to be solved, Rik started to research the locker industry to see what options were out there. Rik explains; "I found that Helmsman was extremely willing to talk through the issues and they understood the problems." Over a period of time, Rik and Helmsman worked together to come up with a locker design unique to Manchester City Councils needs.
Testing the lockers
After more than one month of design, a prototype was produced at no charge to Manchester City Council. Helmsman understood that if the locker design wasnt successful it wasnt useful so the organisation was pleased to invest their time, as they were confident that their experience, together with Riks, would find the solution.
Firstly, the locker was placed in the Councils Building Schools for the Future Test Bed Centre school, Cedar Mount High School on the eastern side of the city. Located in a classroom, the locker showed no signs of damage but, given the environment, Rik felt the locker had perhaps had an easy trial.
"Our second test was in another school in the south of the city," adds Rik. "It was placed in a corridor with lots of passing foot traffic and no CCTV. If it was going to meet a grisly end, thats where it was going to happen. We left it to its fate!" However, the locker not only survived but also appeared unscathed.
Whatever it had been objected to, it didnt leave its mark. Rik was delighted, as were Helmsman.
The locker design was then approved and recommended by Manchester City Council. 900 Helmsman Heavy Duty Inset Lockers are installed in a soon-to-open publicly funded school and both Rik and Helmsman will be monitoring its success.
View Lockers Product Entry