Coronavirus business round-up: Latest news across the North West

Yummi Nutrition makes NHS donation

Manchester-based provider of chewable vitamins and supplements, Yumi Nutrition, has donated 1,000 CE-approved PPE face masks to help protect doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients.

Yumi Nutrition made the donation to the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust after essential personal protective equipment was stolen from its offices in a recent break-in.

The three-ply face masks provide a high level of protection to help prevent the spread of viruses and will be used to reduce risk to staff as NHS hospitals across the UK face personal protective equipment shortages.

Alongside the donation, Yumi Nutrition is offering a 50% discount on its full range of products to all NHS staff to further support those working across the UK in the fight against coronavirus.

The company has also implemented an option on its website for customers to donate to the NHS Charities’ ‘COVID-19 Urgent Appeal’ to raise money for staff, volunteers and patients impacted by the virus, with all customer donations matched by Yumi Nutrition at the end of the month.

As well as taking action to support the NHS, Yumi Nutrition has also made a 53.5kg donation to Manchester Central Foodbank, which has been impacted by the ongoing epidemic with panic-buying leading to a drop in donations.

With supplies running low at a time when demand is increasing, the Yumi Nutrition team delivered a selection of products specifically requested by their local food bank, including tinned food, cereals, biscuits, fruit juice, pasta and nappies.

Sebastien Vanderlinden, Yumi Nutrition chief executive, said: “We wanted to show our appreciation for those doing incredible work during these unprecedented times.

“After seeing the news about the shocking break-in at one of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s offices, we were able to donate a number of PPE face masks which will play a small part in supporting the amazing staff working to protect the most vulnerable at this time.

“Our local food bank has also been hit hard by the pandemic, so we wanted to do our bit to help ensure vulnerable people have access to the essentials.

“It’s been fantastic to see the lengths people have gone to to support those in need at such a difficult time and we’d encourage everyone that can help in any way to continue to play their part.”

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Birchwood Park, the North West’s largest out-of-town business destination, has seen its occupiers go above and beyond in the past few weeks to support the Warrington community, key workers and NHS staff.

The efforts have seen household names, such as Rolls-Royce and Hoover Candy, and some of the country’s largest science and nuclear names, such as Jacobs and Cavendish Nuclear, donate time and resource to support charity efforts on the park.

The businesses have joined forces to donate everything from essential supplies to bespoke PPE equipment in efforts to combat the pandemic, with everyone coming together to spread happiness in the community.

Leading the effort is engineering company Jacobs, which has turned its technical laboratory at the park into a PPE production facility in order to supply much-needed personal protective equipment to frontline workers.

Warrington Wolves supported Hoover’s Wellbeing Wednesday

Other businesses have also been calling on their own personal skills to help NHS staff on the frontline. Stephen Ludgate, technical director of digital marketing company, Falkon Digital, is a 3D-printing enthusiast, and uses his hobby to support 3D Crowd, an organisation pioneering a scheme to produce more than 39,000 face shields for medical and health professionals.

Inspired by his fiancée who is a nurse working on the frontline, Stephen has also created NHS ‘superhero’ keyrings and distributed them among NHS staff.

Likewise, staff at Atkins, a design, engineering and project management consultancy at Birchwood Park, have also volunteered to combat the PPE shortage by using their 3D printers to help produce face shields which will be donated to the NHS.

The efforts also saw Rolls-Royce staff raise money for one of its chosen charities, the Trussell Trust Warrington Foodbank, and donate five trolleys-worth of essential items, including 200 tins of baked beans, 50kg of sugar, 50 bottles of shampoo, 100 tins of spaghetti, and numerous cartons of juice to the cause.

Hoover Candy, also based at the park, teamed up with the Warrington Wolves to offer advice and guidance on maintaining mental and physical wellbeing while at home, via its digital channels, while businesses, such as IT support and cloud solutions experts Yellowbus, are also helping by supporting Fab Lab Warrington – a hi-tech manufacturing facility 3D printing adaptors, which turn snorkelling masks into breathing aids for COVID-19 patients and face shields to protect frontline NHS workers in Greater Manchester intensive care units.

Martin O’Rourke, commercial director at Birchwood Park, said: “We’re thrilled to see so many of our park occupiers coming together to do whatever they can to support our community, key workers and NHS staff.”

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Regional law firm Napthens is offering mental health support to its clients who may need help during the current or future crises.

Seven members of the firm’s legal teams have already qualified as certified Mental Health First Aiders which enables them to help clients who may be suffering various mental health issues during a stressful time, from experiencing of the death of a loved one, caring for incapacitated relatives, or divorce.

Simon Ainsworth

Simon Ainsworth, head of private client at Napthens, said: “Some clients may feel a need for emotional support whilst they are going through a legal process for a variety of reasons and the fact that our legal teams have these skills is ever more important especially during the current crisis.

“The mental health and wellbeing of our clients is as important to us as their legal health. We are a big part of our local communities and this is just another way of assisting clients to ensure they receive the best advice.”

He added: “Our team has been trained in helping clients by signposting them to other specialist agencies who can help them with such issues. We don’t pretend to be experts in mental health, but we can help with initial advice and put them in touch with relevant support where needed.”

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Burnley-based business Velocity Composites has delivered 8,000 face shields and 2,500 fluid protection gowns to the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust to date.

Velocity has capacity to produce up to 1,000 protective gowns and 5,000 face shields per day, using its high-speed material cutting machines normally reserved for creating bespoke composite kits used to manufacture parts for commercial aircraft.

Face shield made by Velocity

The single-use, heavy duty, long-sleeved gowns are made from LDPE (low density polyethylene), which contains no latex.

The face shields are made from anti-fog PET or PETG film with the brow foam comprising an open cell polyurethane and the elastic webbing being an elastic latex fabric.

Darren Ingram, chief operating officer, said: “The team at Velocity is committed to helping protect our NHS staff, who are putting their lives at risk every day.

“Our equipment and clean room manufacturing facilities are perfect for producing medical-use PPE and we will continue to produce face shields and aprons for as long as they are needed.”

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