The call for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect the NHS and its staff has seen many businesses across the Heart of the South West adapt to help meet their community’s needs.
Some businesses have kindly donated protective equipment and others have adjusted how their organisation works to find a way to manufacture and supply essential PPE for frontline workers.
Barratt Developments, Exmoor Gin, South Devon College and Theatre Royal Plymouth are just a handful of businesses who have helped make a difference.
Leading developer Barratt Developments has donated more than a hundred items of PPE to hospital and social care workers to help in the fight against coronavirus.
Barratt Homes & David Wilson Homes Exeter provided 60 high quality FSP3 masks, usually used on the house builders’ construction sites, along with several large bottles of sanitiser to NHS Hospice Care at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. They also delivered a further 60 masks plus sanitisers to Plymouth City Council’s adult social care service.
With more than 50 developments across the South West, Barratt Developments have long been committed to supporting and developing local communities and are proud to join other South West businesses and organisations coming together to offer practical help and solutions during the current crisis.
Huw Llewellyn managing director of Barratt David Wilson Homes Exeter said: “We are delighted to be able to donate this equipment where it is urgently needed – to protect NHS staff on the frontline of the battle against Covid-19. We are seeing an incredible, inspiring collective action by businesses, communities and individuals and we are proud to be playing our part.”
Exmoor Gin, who work from the Barle Enterprise Centre, part of Somerset Enterprise Centres, had a lot of people asking about hand sanitiser on their social media channels.
Head Distiller John Smith worked hard to create an 80% alcohol sanitiser. John Said: “We want our customers to feel safe. As we have the tools to create the hand sanitiser that our customers need, we feel that this is a great way for us to adapt and to help.
“We are pleased to say that we will be supplying our hand sanitiser in bulk to the NHS directly. With tough times ahead, we have been looking for ways that we can adapt our local distillery into a beacon of hope. Being able to provide our healthcare workers with some extra protection has made us very happy indeed!”
South Devon College is working with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, to urgently produce protective medical equipment to protect NHS staff in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
The team, based at the college’s Hi Tech & Digital Centre in Paignton, are using state-of-the-art fused filament fabrication 3D printers to produce headbands.
Following safety testing of the first prototype, the team are now working on producing around 100 face shields, which will be delivered to the team at Torbay Hospital.
They’ve also prepared 112 goggles, 187 safety glasses, three visors, four respirators, nine boxes of disposable face masks, and 19 boxes of disposable gloves to be donated and collected by NHS staff.
Laurence Frewin, Principal and CEO at South Devon College said: “We’re proud that our dedicated staff have been innovative and able to step up so quickly to support the call for help from our wonderful NHS at this time of national emergency.”
The Theatre Royal Plymouth has given items including gloves, splash suits and facial protection to NHS care staff.
Adrian Vinken, Chief Executive at Theatre Royal Plymouth said: “Our core staff are working hard to keep the theatre safe and ready throughout this period but our manufacturing teams at TR2 have had to stop working on new shows. They normally use a lot of protective equipment and so were delighted to be able to donate this essential kit to support our key NHS and care workers.
“Our shows can’t go on at the moment, so we’re really pleased to be able to help the true stars of the moment, those NHS and care staff in Plymouth and across Devon working tirelessly to keep us all safe. They’re doing such a magnificent selfless job and we’d like to encourage any businesses in the city who are able to, to donate to this initiative.”
Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, Karl Tucker, said: “In such challenging times it is the agile nature of these local businesses that is helping the Heart of the South West come together and join forces to use their skills where best needed. It is testament to the strength of our local business community and a great example of the wider force for good that businesses have within the wider community in such extraordinary times.”
Any business with PPE to donate to NHS services can contact the Clinical Commissioning Groups at: d-ccg.covid19PPE@nhs.net in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay; and email@example.com in Somerset.