Doing their bit

Lancashire businesses have responded to the coronavirus crisis by providing vital support and help for their communities and those in the Covid-19 frontline.

As the lockdown took hold, one of the most vulnerable groups in need of help and care was the homeless. On the Fylde Coast, the Blackpool Business Leaders Group joined a partnership involving churches, the local food bank and the council.

Their innovative solution means people who were homeless now have shelter and meals. It has involved putting them up in B&Bs near the centre of Blackpool.

The town’s Business Improvement District (BID) teamed up with Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blue Skies Hospital Fund and the Winter Gardens to provide a coordinated drop and distribution point for donations to frontline NHS staff.

Mike Simmons from the BID said: “In these unprecedented times we are seeing more than ever people coming together and helping each other.”

Businesses have also put their efforts behind Blackpool’s ‘Corona Kindness’ campaign to help ensure that those in need do not go without. Its food parcel distribution service has received support from Lancashire suppliers including Trevors Foodservice, Ribble Farm Fare and Morris Bakers.

A countywide relief effort has also been launched to support those in isolation by harnessing the spare capacity of hospitality businesses during the pandemic.

In these unprecedented times we are seeing more than ever people coming together and helping each other.

Organised by Blackburn-based Community and Business Partners, the ‘Love From Lancashire’ campaign, looks to recruit thousands of volunteers. Amanda Meachin, chief executive, explained: “We are in unprecedented times and that requires an unprecedented community effort.”

The Best Western Lothersdale Hotel in Morecambe has provided accommodation for key workers from Heysham power station and Irish Sea  gas rigs as well as stranded port workers from the Isle of Man and some of the most vulnerable in society.

A number of other hospitality businesses answered the call to provide workers from the emergency services with a safe space, in the event they were unable to return home due to family self-isolating.

Crow Wood Hotel and Spa Resort in Burnley has also been doing its bit. Wilfred’s, the hotel’s latest restaurant offering, produced and froze more than 900 soups before distributing them to various local charities and care homes.

Pharmalogic, a family-owned pharmacy chain based in Walton Summit, donated a shipment of 10,000 mini bottles of hand-sanitiser to be distributed to the 7,500 staff at Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals.

And a collection of east Lancashire businesses teamed up to purchase 24 pallets of food, including eggs, milk and bread, and distribute them to the community.

Tyreoo FleetCare, its sister Company Colne Tyre Centre and JD Engineering, organised the project with the logistic support of the Cardboard Box Company.

Independent Living NW is a family-owned day service for adults and the elderly across the Fylde Coast. Its day centres are closed but directors Scott and Spencer Gibbons and its 16-strong team are continuing to provide a service for vulnerable people, offering services such as shopping, welfare checkups and ‘meals on wheels'.

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