KIND-HEARTED businesses across Leeds pulled together to help ease the financial, physical, and mental hardship of frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. A chance conversation with one of Blueberry’s valued customers led to the company’s director providing more than 30 of the region’s care homes with much-needed PPE gear. Read Faresh Maisuria’s account, in his own words, of how local businesses worked together for the greater good during unprecedented times.
When I get up for my habitual morning coffee, one of the first things that strikes me is the silence.
Living just down from the M62 motorway, I have become accustomed to the background roar of rush hour traffic.
Now, for the first time, it is barely audible.
The contrast between now and then could not be starker. Just five weeks ago, I was commuting into work each day, travelling around the country to meetings, conferences, and business events. Now, for those of us not on the frontline, those of us who are not key workers, staying at home is ‘doing our bit’.
Of course, we all want to do more. I feel continually humbled by the unwavering support, hard work and dedication of our country’s frontline workers. And it got me thinking about all the little ways individuals and businesses are trying to make a difference – however small – in whatever way they can.
The Punch Bar & Tapas restaurant in Honley is serving up free meals for NHS staff during the Pandemic. Leeds United are working with HIS Church to distribute food packages and essential supplies to NHS workers and the vulnerable. Not forgetting the thousands of individuals who selflessly answered the call for NHS volunteers to help those in need during isolation. And one of our own clients, Leach, is switching their production processes from print and graphics to manufacturing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) visors to be sold on to the NHS at cost price.
We’ve all seen the news stories on the shortage of PPE. It’s truly heart-breaking to see that our frontline workers are not always provided with the protection they desperately need. The NCA has stated that access to PPE is one of the most frequently raised issues in the social care sector now. In fact, their Executive Chairman, Nadra Ahmed, claims that PPE is being sold at inflated prices to care providers. Leaving organisations no choice but to pay over 400 per cent more for items. And this is when they can get hold of them.
We know this first hand. Another one of our clients is a funded body which addresses the skills needs in the social care sector. We also know from speaking to many care home managers, that finding the PPE they need is a real struggle.
So, this week we made the decision to put £2,000 towards Leach’s PPE visors and contacted Leeds Care Association to find out how we could get these to the homes in greatest need. Within hours of putting the word out there, we’d received requests from over 30 separate care homes desperate for supplies.
It’s gratifying to be able to do our bit, even if it may be a small gesture in the grand scheme of things. I’ve always been a big believer in giving back to the community – and now is our chance