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Community backs local PPE initiative

18th April 2020

With pressure mounting on the govenment and more reports of potential Personal Protective Equipment shortages, the whole nation is getting behind the campaign to get frontline workers access to effective PPE. Local PPE initiatives across the country have been using their own resources to help produce equipment that should be provided by the Government.

Community is continuing to campaign for govenment action to ensure its members on the frontline in sectors across the country have the PPE they need. The union’s petition has received over 1,000 signatures and is still gaining more support.

Community members in Cheltenham  were inspired by one of the many community-based initiatives that have sprung up in response to the PPE crisis and have used the union’s local causes fund to make a donation to a  not-for-profit volunteer-based group who are producing PPE face shields.

Cheltenham Hackspace is a community workspace that provides space and tools for their members to work on their hobbies and interests. They have chosen to use some of their tools (including 3D printers and laser cutters) and tech expertise to produce PPE for frontline workers and have already made over 2,000 much needed PPE face shields.

NHS workers wearing their Hackspace PPE

Andy Jackson from Hackspace has been organising the making and distribution of the masks to frontline staff, he had this to say:

“When Cheltenham Hackspace set out to offer a bit of help to the local health care workers, we never realised the need and demand for PPE locally. As a self-funded member group, we had limited funds so asked for donations to help us make more face shields. The donation from Community union has majorly contributed to 2,000 masks made to date and over 1,600 distributed. Nurses and health care workers from across the county are sending in their thanks daily. Thank-you for helping.

“We have also now had requests for help from care homes in Rugby and the National Autistic Society based in the South West.”

If you would like to donate to the Cheltenham Hackspace campaign, you can go to their twitter page for details here.

Community has been campaigning for the Government to urgently provide all necessary PPE to frontline workers across the UK. Please sign our petition here.