Independent businesses give away grant money to buy PPE for NHS workers

Small independent businesses across the city have each given £100 of their business grant to ensure staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have the protective equipment they need.

The fundraiser is the brain child of Sam Barriscale, owner of Ma Banker’s in Cranham Drive. He said he came up with the idea after hearing “horror stories” of doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers working on wards affected by Covid-19, without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Mr Barriscale said: “I heard some dreadful tales of doctors and nurses on the wards at the hospital having to share masks and wear gloves and goggles that were the wrong sizes. It is absolutely disgusting to me that our government has let down the very people who are literally dying to take care of us. I put a post out on Facebook asking local businesses to donate £100 of their business grants to try and get the NHS staff the protection they so desperately need. I was expecting to get about £500. But, in true Worcester style the local businesses have really pulled together and gone above and beyond.

“We now have £7,000 enough to buy 7,000 masks from a supplier in Europe. I am blown away by the generosity I have seen. Worcester’s independent businesses have always been very close, we look after each other and the community that we love. But, they have really gone above and beyond this time, businesses who have not received the grant are donating, £100 is a lot of money when you are trying to keep a business afloat and food on the table. It is really touching.

“Everyone has really pulled together, the Old Rectifying house was the first business to help with the initiative, it snowballed from there and now almost every small business in Worcester is involved. The owners at Bolero and Firefly have donated three times as much because they have three business in the city, the Stonemasons of Worcester have offered to help with deliveries. It is a great testament to who we are and what we do as independent businesses in Worcester.