An appeal has been launched to urge businesses and communities across Norfolk to help secure supplies of Personal Protective Equipment for workers in vital services.
Councils and organisations across the county are backing the drive to ensure stocks of PPE are available in the coming weeks and months.
Whilst the Government has significantly increased deliveries of PPE into Norfolk – local businesses can still play an important role.
With many small businesses currently closed, any PPE equipment such as masks, disposable gloves, aprons, eye googles, overshoes and hand sanitising gel can be used for the front line staff who are caring for our most vulnerable residents and keeping our vital services operating.
A number of firms have already come forward to offer PPE stock, or to use their facilities and staff to produce the items which are required.
Trevor Holden, Head of the Tactical Coordination Group, that is overseeing the delivery of the multi-agency response across Norfolk, said: “The Government has supplied a significant amount of PPE in recent days. While we welcome this, we must also take local action to ensure we continue to have stocks to cover the wide range of front line staff that require it to keep our essential services running in these unprecedented times.
“PPE comes in a variety of types, for different uses, so we would ask that any business that has PPE that it would like to offer to contact New Anglia LEP on the details below.”
Over recent weeks, technicians at the University of East Anglia have been making up to 170 litres of hand sanitiser gel a day and Norwich-based gin distillery Bullards is also producing sanitising gel. Loddon engineering company Panel Graphic has recently started using its production line which usually produces display enhancement windows to make face visors for front line workers.
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Our team has already spoken to dozens of companies, large and small, which have capacity and capability to produce equipment or stock which they no longer require. It has been great to see the business community come together in this way and I’ve no doubt that our local firms will continue to do all they can to support this appeal.
“We understand that this is a very challenging time for many businesses and their staff. The New Anglia Growth Hub can offer free business support, including information about the new Government grants and schemes, to any business in Norfolk or Suffolk as well as advice on how your business can help produce PPE.”