Five thousand life-saving visors made by Merseyside PPE Hub volunteers for doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance workers and care workers will be delivered by Liverpool-based Fans Supporting Foodbanks to its sister organisations from Newcastle, Huddersfield, Leeds, Manchester and London for distribution across the country this weekend.
In addition to continuing its core work of collecting food donations for North Liverpool foodbanks and setting up a food supply hub to serve the whole of Liverpool during the Covid-19 crisis, over the last 5 weeks Fans Supporting Foodbanks has also been busy working in collaboration with local businesses and educators as part of the voluntary Merseyside PPE Hub partnership.
Merseyside PPE Hub’s production operation is spearheaded by Lydiate Learning Trust (LLT), working out of Studio@Deyes at Wavertree Technology Park in Liverpool and comprising staff from specialist engineering college Studio@Deyes, Deyes High School and Childwall Sport and Science Academy.
The Merseyside PPE Hub partnership produces and distribute life-saving Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for health and social care workers on the front line of the fight against Covid-19. Since the crisis began, the partnership has produced and distributed more than 25,000 visors, hundreds of scrubs and more than 3000 face masks around the region.
Fans Supporting Foodbanks works closely with Lydiate Learning Trust and other Merseyside PPE Hub partners to support with fundraising, logistics and distribution requirements.
Urgent requests for face visors for key workers around the country reached Fans Supporting Foodbanks this week and now the organisation is responding to that call with a cross-country solidarity mission this weekend to deliver five thousand visors produced by the Merseyside PPE Hub to Fans Supporting Foodbanks sister organisations in areas where visors are required.
The local arm of the Fans Supporting Foodbanks network in Newcastle, Huddersfield, Leeds, Manchester and London respectively will on Saturday 9 May take delivery of a large batch of visors and ensure they reach the frontline workers who desperately need them in the coming days.
Fans Supporting Foodbanks co-founder Ian Byrne says: “We are delighted once again to work with our comrades from Fans Supporting Foodbanks across the country, but this time supplying PPE to frontline workers created in solidarity from across Liverpool.
“Many thanks to LLT-PPE for pulling together the magnificent donation of 5000 visors to go to workers across the region who scandalously are being left short of PPE when working to protect our communities. This really is a true example of solidarity not charity between communities.”
Fans Supporting Foodbanks co-founder Dave Kelly says: “Fans Supporting Foodbanks have always promoted harmony and aimed to be inclusive, not exclusive. Our ethos is to adopt a collaborative approach with other fan groups and in life generally. So, when fan groups from various regions asked us how they could order PPE from our Merseyside PPE Hub partnership, it became clear that the demand for PPE is a national one and we felt it our duty to respond.
“I can’t think of a better example of working-class solidarity than our fan groups and working-class communities coming together in this way to keep the nation’s workers safe. This weekend’s solidarity mission by the Fans Supporting Foodbanks network to deliver and distribute vital PPE across the country is exactly what fan activism is all about.”
John Parry of Lydiate Learning Trust (LLT) says: “At the beginning of April I was approached by colleagues in the Lydiate Learning Trust to make some PPE visors in response to the shortages in hospitals and other settings being widely reported. At first we made 100 visors and posted photos of these on social media. We were overwhelmed by the response and that day LLT-PPE was born.
“We raised £10,000 in 4 weeks and came together with Fans Supporting Foodbanks to develop the Merseyside PPE Hub partnership. This developed quickly and also includes partners such as Dave Connor from Optimum group, seventeen schools, small businesses including That 3D and local volunteers with their own 3D Printers and laser cutters. With the funding we raise we can supply our affiliates with the materials they need to manufacture PPE visors. Merseyside PPE Hub distributes these to key workers in hospitals, care homes, paramedics and elsewhere as needed.
“This project has brought together people from all walks of life that may have never crossed paths before and injected energy into a community who want to help make and deliver PPE. This city always pulls together in a time of need and shows that unity is strength.”
Also a key partner in the Merseyside PPE Hub is Optimum Group, which runs franchises of Costa Coffee and Kaspa’s branches in Merseyside and is currently working around the clock to produce vital PPE for frontline NHS staff and other key workers. Samantha Taylor, a teacher of Textiles/MA Fashion Design and co-founder of Scrub Hub Liverpool is also on board, producing scrubs for healthcare workers across Merseyside during the crisis.
More details on the work of the Merseyside PPE Hub partnership can be found here: http://www.merseysideppehub.co.uk/. Anyone who would like to donate towards the work of the Merseyside PPE Hub partnership can do so via either of these two online donation pages: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dave-kelly-5 https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/lltppe