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, and some of the country’s largest science and nuclear names, such as Jacobs and Cavendish Nuclear, 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 engineering company Jacobs, which has turned its technical laboratory at the park into a PPE production facility in order to supply much needed personal protective equipment to front line workers. The company has also employed extra measures to prevent cross contamination of materials at the manufacturing hub, including working areas being clearly marked for physical distancing, assembly workers assigned additional protective equipment, and all items being quarantined before being dispatched.
Other businesses have also been calling on their own personal skills to help NHS staff on the frontline. Stephen Ludgate, technical director of digital marketing company, Falkon Digital is a 3D printing enthusiast, and uses 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.
Likewise, 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.
The efforts also saw Rolls-Royce staff raise money for one of its chosen charities, the Trussell Trust Warrington Foodbank, and donate 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 to the cause.
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, whilst 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 at 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.