April 14 coronavirus update for businesses

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CBI urges businesses to support NHS

The CBI has urged businesses in region to join the ‘battle’ to produce protective equipment for the NHS and front-line workers.

The organisation is calling firms with the skills or expertise that could be harnessed to get involved, as well as those who have skills that could be useful for the fight, including the suppliers, lawyers, logistics and others needed to make this critical endeavour happen.

To coordinate this and make a collective action plan to respond to this challenge, the CBI os convening a business call at 11:30am next Wednesday.

CBI regional director Damian Waters said: “Protecting NHS and social care staff on the frontline is vitally important. But it’s not just them, from people carrying out essential work in food manufacture or Post Offices and delivery drivers, key workers need protective gear and we are committed to helping to secure it for them. These people are the fifth emergency service in times like these. I believe that businesses and firms in region could play a key role and I’m calling on anyone who thinks they could play a part, even a small part, to sign up to the webinar and see if you can."

Senator delivers thousands of items for new hospitals

The Altham-based Senator Group has delivered around 7,000 items of furniture to the new hospitals in Birmingham, Manchester and existing NHS facilities. Items included patient bedside lockers and overbed tables, along with a selection of patient chairs and tables. Further orders are also being completed for the Nightingale Hospital in Glasgow.

Robert Mustoe, managing director of the furniture firm, said: “We are extremely proud to work with the NHS and to be able to support them at this time and we thank our staff for the extraordinary effort they are putting into their work to fulfil these vital orders.

"Production is now well and truly underway, with healthcare products at these sites, which includes Huncoat, Altham, Whitebirk and Lower Darwen, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that is doing their bit to keep the factories moving and the product flowing, our dedicated employees and suppliers are what is keeping us going in such critical times."

Splat launches online health and safety training

Todmorden-based Splat training has launched a range of short, online health and safety training courses.

Company founder Amy Gault said: "Now seemed like the perfect time to introduce a suite of online safety training materials, not only as a way to keep our business afloat but because almost half of all businesses are expected to furlough staff in the next few months.

"Although the law forbids furloughed employees from working whilst laid-off, they are allowed to undertake training. Without the usual distractions of the workplace, learning new safety skills or refreshing existing ones in the home will be a valuable use of people's time during this period."

Amy added that many other staff will be working from home for the first time and while the Health and Safety Executive in England has relaxed the rules on risk assessing workstations where employees use display screen equipment like laptops, it's still a good idea for staff to familiarise themselves with how to work safely.

Blackpool community comes together

In response to Blackpool's Corona Kindness appeal, 12 operational hubs across the town have been set up, each with their own small team of staff and volunteers. Each hub is providing food parcels, shopping assistance, medication supplies, a befriending service and dog walking.

Last week, the Corona Kindness helpline received 1174 emails, 460 calls and more than 200 offers of help from Blackpool residents. Blackpool Council made contact with 300 people who needed assistance with shopping, medication and dog walking. General advice and support was also given.

Organisations which provided support include Blackpool Council and Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Football Club Community Trust, Empowerment, The Boys and Girls Club, The Carers Centre, The Magic Club, Warren Manor, Groundworks, The Tab Family Hub and The Volunteer Centre Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Blackpool Council’s Leader, Cllr Simon Blackburn, said: “The kindness shown by people over the past few weeks is a testament to the resilience, spirit and resolve of the Blackpool community."