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Businesses and communities working together

Published: 28 May 2020

Food and fabric challenges

During Coronavirus there have been two big areas where the Surrey Local Resilience Forum have seen businesses and communities really pulling together. Food and Personal Protective Equipment have been two of the big asks during this crisis that have seen communities, partners and businesses working together to help where it's needed most.

Food and Boxes

Getting food has unfortunately become an all too real problem for many of Surrey's residents, as support networks were affected by Coronavirus with many carers and workers forced to stay home. Others have found themselves in dire financial situations. But quick thinking by several businesses has meant the food supply chain has been maintained, getting food to those who need it most. Here is just one example.

The Pilot's Hub an independent restaurant based at Redhill Aerodrome, quickly pivoted from a brasserie to a distribution point for essential food boxes for the community. They also started a scheme enabling Pilot's Hub customers to donate to the NHS and other people in need and there was lots of support for this. Every week during the crisis they are distributing half a tonne of donated food to East Surrey Hospital and others in need, donated via local residents. Cardboard boxes were also needed so we put out an appeal which was supported by a Surrey business too. Great team work.

Personal Protective Equipment and fabric for scrubs

Following a social media campaign and targeted approaches to Surrey businesses, over 100,000 donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were received. Donations have come from businesses both large and small, and include gloves, googles, masks, overshoes, cleaning materials and aprons. Every single one of these items has been distributed to the people on the frontline that need it, including care home workers, social workers, children's centre staff, firefighters and volunteers.

Fabric was desperately needed to make scrubs for frontline workers, after some collaboration between several organisations a solution was found. PPL who were working on behalf of the Covid Community Action programme got together with Helpforce an organisation working with volunteers to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and our communities, and got a result. Surrey business Toray Textile Europe Ltd a company who already produce medical textiles stepped forward donating 75 meters of green scrub fabric.

Do you have a business that can help?

Above are just a couple of examples of Surrey businesses coming forward and working together with communities to find effective solutions. To find out more about how businesses can help during Coronavirus visit The Surrey County Council Coronavirus web pages in the business section.

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