Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has joined a regional engineering organisation in calling on businesses to donate unused or excess personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline hospital and healthcare staff.
Tees Engineering Network, a body set up to promote local engineering businesses and supply chain opportunities, is coordinating a push to secure extra equipment in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisation, which is supported by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, is asking for companies, whether currently open or closed, to find and contribute any unused masks and visors to help hospitals until they receive PPE currently on order.
Donations should be brought to Francis Brown Ltd, in Stockton-on-Tees, which will then distribute them to hospitals and healthcare providers across Tees Valley. FFP3 face masks are the World Health Organisation’s recommended mask in tackling coronavirus and are the most needed, however donations of FFP2 valve respirator masks are also welcome.
Mayor Houchen said: “At this difficult and unprecedented time, the real heroes of the hour have been our frontline NHS staff, working tirelessly to save lives in the face of a massive global crisis.
“We need to be doing everything we can to support them in the short-term, giving them that extra boost needed to keep them safe and healthy so they can do the same for our local people.
“And since the coronavirus outbreak started, I’ve seen businesses and organisations of all stripes stepping up to the plate to work together to support the welfare of our people and businesses, and this might be one of the most important asks yet. So, I urge companies big and small across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to seek out any PPE they no longer need or have too much of and deliver it to one of the drop-off points, because this could help the NHS save lives.”
Jamie Brown, CEO of Francis Brown Ltd and one of the organisers of Tees Engineering Network, said: “My work with TEN has shown me how our industry can pull together to champion what the region has to offer, but now we have a very different, much more important, ask of businesses that work alongside us.
“We need everyone in our sector to dig through cupboards, lockers and stock rooms to find and deliver us masks and visors urgently, and help out our fantastic NHS.”
Businesses with any questions, or wanting to get in touch, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deliveries of PPE should be taken to Francis Brown Ltd, Hill Street East, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 2HL or MASfab Ltd, Tursdale Business Park, DH6 5PG.