Mail Force is providing a dozen charities across the UK with multiple deliveries of PPE, ensuring that they will have enough surgical masks and hospital-standard protective aprons to see them through to 2021.
These deliveries will take place every three weeks between now and Christmas – a total of nearly five million pieces worth £560,000.
‘PPE has been a massive frustration during this pandemic. We’ve been spending four times more than we usually would on it so we are extremely grateful to Mail Force as we will now have a war chest for the coming winter,’ says Hugh Fenn, interim chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, which cares for more than 2,500 people with a range of disabilities in 120 care homes across Britain.
The Mail Force van has been dropping boxes of PPE at, among others, Age UK in Warrington, Cheshire, and the Oxfam depot in Walsall. Lorries have also been to the Royal British Legion in Kent, ExtraCare in Coventry, Blind Veterans UK in Llandudno, North Wales, and the Manchester Refugee Support Network.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, says: ‘We’ve had to close 133 charity shops and make 400 people redundant. During lockdown, we were losing £880,000 a week and we have had to take £12 million out of our reserves. We’ve really done all we can and so we are really grateful for all your help. The next few months are absolutely key.’
The charity – which has a network of 130 local operations and free advice services for older people – estimates it will get through at least 225,000 masks between now and Christmas. Mail Force will now be providing those. Since our campaign started back in April, we have raised more than £11 million and delivered more than 30 million pieces of PPE. We have helped to kick-start new production lines of UK-made equipment and spent more than £1 million on state-of-the-art virus testing equipment for hospitals all over Britain.