Birchwood Park, the North West’s largest out-of-town business destination, has seen its occupiers go above and beyond in the past few weeks to support the Warrington community, key workers and NHS staff.
The efforts have seen household names, such as Rolls-Royce and Hoover Candy, donate time and resource to support charity efforts on the Park. The businesses have joined forces to donate everything from essential supplies to bespoke PPE equipment in efforts to combat the pandemic, with everyone coming together to spread happiness in the community.
Leading the effort is Rolls-Royce, whose staff has raised money for one of its chosen charities, the Trussell Trust Warrington Foodbank. Knowing that more people are relying on the foodbank during the current pandemic than ever before, the engineering company also donated five trolleys-worth of essential items, including 200 tins of baked beans, 50kg of sugar, 50 bottles of shampoo, 100 tins of spaghetti, and numerous cartons of juice.
The businesses have also been calling on their own personal skills to help NHS staff on the frontline, with digital marketing experts, Falkon Digital heading up the efforts. The company saw technical director Stephen Ludgate, a 3D printing enthusiast, use his hobby to support 3D Crowd, an organisation pioneering a scheme to produce more than 39,000 face shields for medical and health professionals.
Inspired by his fiancée who is a nurse working on the frontline, Stephen has also created NHS ‘superhero’ keyrings and distributed them among NHS staff.
Staff at Atkins, a design, engineering and project management consultancy at Birchwood Park, have also volunteered to combat the PPE shortage by using their 3D printers to help produce face shields which will be donated to the NHS. Likewise, engineering company Jacobs have turned their technical laboratory at the park into a PPE production facility, to supply personal protective equipment for front line workers.
Hoover Candy, also based at the park, teamed up with the Warrington Wolves to offer advice and guidance on maintaining mental and physical wellbeing while at home, via its digital channels.
Businesses such as IT support and cloud solutions experts Yellowbus are also helping by supporting Fab Lab Warrington, a hi-tech manufacturing facility, 3D-printing adaptors, which turn snorkelling masks into breathing aids for COVID-19 patients and face shields to protect frontline NHS workers in Greater Manchester intensive care units.
Martin O’Rourke, Commercial Director at Birchwood Park, said: “We’re thrilled to see so many of our Park occupiers coming together to do whatever they can to support our community, key workers and NHS staff.
I’d like to personally thank each and every member of staff at the businesses across the Park, that are supporting others in this time of crisis. To be able to give back to the NHS and our local community is crucial. All key workers deserve recognition for all they are doing to keep us safe and to keep our country and community running.
“Many key workers still need to use the park to carry out essential work. Companies such as Cavendish Nuclear, suppliers to the nuclear industry, are working closely with nuclear engineers Sellafield to ensure the highest levels of safety and protection continue to be delivered under challenging circumstances.”
Birchwood Park is backing initiatives to thank NHS workers, such as clapping and cheering with the nation every Thursday. External building lights across the entire business park, which is currently home to more than 165 companies and 6,000 employees, were changed to blue to show Birchwood Park’s continued support during this time.