Better Together: Businesses adapting to help fight Covid-19

If we could sum up what’s happened to us all in one word over the last few weeks, it would be pretty clear what that word is. I’m sure like most, if not all of you, if we were having this conversation a few weeks ago it would be very different to the one we are having right now.

In our network we’ve seen major 180 degree style changes as businesses adapt to working from home, and adjust to lockdowns, family life, mental health and general well-being. It has been an uphill battle/struggle for us all, that will most likely continue into the months ahead.

However, despite these challenges, I’ve seen one good thing (out of many) come out of this; many people are asking themselves “What can we do to help? This feeling of solidarity and altruism is the real flicker of hope that I believe will see us through to the other side.

With that in mind, here are stories of businesses that are adapting in an effort to make a difference.

BrewDog

Scotland’s BrewDog unveiled slickly branded BrewGel, which was initially donated to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The beer giant then went on to pack and donate over 50,000 units to the NHS and local charities. They set up packaging stations at their brewery in Aberdeen and enlisted extra team members from closed bars to help pack even more.

BrewDog Hygienic Hand Rub

Despite losing over 70% of their business overnight, the team has made 100,000+ units so far working 24/7 and is committed to keep going for as long as it’s needed.

Deliveroo

In the UK, Deliveroo has launched a grocery delivery service to bring household essentials to people in isolation as well as partnering with Marks & Spencer to enable customers to get items delivered from M&S stores within BP petrol stations.

In addition to this, the delivery service pledged to deliver 500,000 hot dishes to NHS Trusts from the likes of Pizza Hut, Itsu and Neat Burger. Deliveroo said hospitals would be able to order hot dishes with it directly, not via its app, starting in London and Manchester, then in all the regions it covers.

Those in the NHS working night and day to save lives are the real heroes of this crisis, and we want to do our small part to support them and the vulnerable who aren’t able to leave their homes. Thanks to our dedicated riders, the generosity of our restaurant partners and their teams who are keeping kitchens open to serve those most in need, we hope to be able to make a difference. Deliveroo is a British business and, as the founder, nothing would make me more proud than to use the network we have built to support the NHS, and I know the restaurant sector wants to play its part too.

Will Shu, CEO and founder of Deliveroo.

Dyson

Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson Ltd, designed a new ventilator in 10 days after receiving a call from the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The Dyson ventilator, called “CoVent,” was developed in order to produce 10,000 ventilators to help hospitals in the country cope with an influx of coronavirus patients.

“This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume,” Dyson added, saying that the new ventilator has been designed to “address the specific needs” of coronavirus patients.

Dyson Ventilator

The challenge has been to look at how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. Dyson has been leading the way for british manufacturing conglomerates like Airbus and Rolls-Royce to join in the effort to make medical ventilators in the UK. Dyson plans on manufacturing a total of 15,000 units of which 10,000 will go to the UK hospitals and 5,000 will be donated to the international effort.

Their effort has prompted US automakers, including Tesla, Ford and GM, to utilize their HVAC [Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning] manufacturing facilities to produce ventilators to fulfill domestic shortages in the US.

O’Neills

The Irish sportswear company started manufacturing scrubs to help healthcare staff during the crisis. With the sporting world pretty much out of action, O’Neill’s looked to focus their efforts on supporting frontline workers. A statement on the company’s official Twitter account read:

“With immediate effect, O’Neills are manufacturing scrubs for the Health and Social Care Trusts.”

ONeills factory in Strabane

Above: The O’Neills factory in Strabane.

We are ready and willing to utilise our well-established production lines to expedite this important requirement as a matter of urgency. We have literally been part of the fabric of local communities the length and breadth of Ireland for the past 102 years and as a company we can think of no better way to play our part in helping to save lives during the current national emergency

Kieran Kennedy, managing director of O’Neills.

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