Staffordshire’s business community has vamped up efforts to support the county’s workers and health organisations during the COVID-19 outbreak...


A range of companies from across Staffordshire have stepped in to support frontline staff, employees and supply-chains, as the county reacts to the current epidemic.

JCB

Manufacturing giant, JCB are working with Wiltshire-based company, Dyson to produce 10,000 ventilators for the NHS. Both companies were quick to act and managed to develop a functional prototype for a new ventilator system within one-week of the Government’s call-to-action.

JCB, who trade from operate from their Staffordshire headquarters, have also delivered a care package to University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM), containing 8,000 pairs of gloves and a large quantity of face masks.

Paul Bytheway, CEO at UHNM, commented:

“We have been delighted at the response from local businesses across Staffordshire who are really pulling together in this crisis and grateful to JCB for their generous donation.”

bet365 and Stoke City

One of North Staffordshire’s major employers, bet365 announced a multi-million-pound package for its 4,389 staff, with guaranteed earnings for at least five months (until September 2020). This announcement also extended to employees of Stoke City Football Club.

The Coates family – owners of bet365 and Stoke City FC – has also donated £10million to University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM), through the Denise Coates Foundation, to improve patient care and support staff at both the Royal Stoke University Hospital (Stoke-on-Trent) and County Hospital (Stafford).

CEO at UHNM, Tracy Bullock, said:

“We are extremely grateful to the Denise Coates Foundation for this significant grant to support our staff and patients during COVID-19 and beyond.

“This investment will help fund schemes and provide latest technology to improve communications between clinicians; between clinicians and patients and between patients and their families.”

Royal Stoke University Hospital

Cobra Biologics

Keele-based medical manufacturer, Cobra Biologics is part of an international consortium working to develop a DNA vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. The consortium, known as ‘OPENCORONA’, recently received €3million of funding for research and development of a much-needed vaccine.

Peter Coleman, Chief Executive at Cobra Biologics, commented:

“The partners within the OPENCORONA consortium are all industry experts, with the expertise, track record and belief to deliver a successful outcome. Cobra is privileged to have been invited to participate and contribute to fight against COVID-19, as this virus continues to impact the globe exponentially.”

GE Renewables

Energy firm, GE Renewable Energy – located at Redhill Business Park, Stafford – have donated a bundle of PPE (personal protection equipment) to Staffordshire County, providing 600 pairs of gloves, 280 facemasks and 83 pairs of safety glasses, for the County Council’s social and care workers.

EHS Manager at GE Renewable Energy, Steve Cooke, added:

“During these difficult times it’s important that local businesses and the public sector work together more than ever than before to deal with this crisis. We at GE Renewable were very pleased to be able to provide some practical support in this way.”

Nelson’s Distillery

Uttoxeter-based distillery, Nelson’s have announced that they will be distilling a limited-edition gin to raise funds for the NHS, with £10 from every sale going to the NHS.

This follows the decision by Nelson’s to revision some of their production to temporarily manufacture hand sanitizers for those most in need. Nelson’s have delivered a box of the brand’s hand sanitizer to the district nurses at St Oswald Hospital (in Ashbourne) and to the Staffordshire Police Headquarters.

Founder of Nelson’s Distillery, Neil Harrison, added:

“It’s a time for communities and businesses to come together and we’re proud to be supporting the NHS. We wanted to do something to celebrate the true heroes who are battling day in, day out in our hospitals, and other medical institutions, to limit the devastating impact of COVID-19.”

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