Report by Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter
Waltham Forest residents and businesses have donated more than 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help those most at risk of coronavirus.
After Waltham Forest Council called for donations for key workers, they received more than 20,000 gloves, 5,000 masks, 500 protective glasses and 2,500 overshoes.
The equipment will go to workers at council care homes and volunteers delivering food and other essential supplies with the community help network.
Council leader Clare Coghill said: “Our team is working incredibly hard to ensure crucial PPE is being distributed to protect care workers who carry out critical work, assisting vulnerable members of our community and supporting local hospitals.
“I want to thank care workers for their unwavering commitment to helping those most in need and am immensely proud of the way our borough has pulled together in response to this unprecedented challenge, including the incredible residents and businesses who have stepped forward to donate so generously.
“This is an ongoing appeal so if you are able to donate any PPE your support for our vital work will be greatly appreciated.”
Workers at George Mason Lodge in Leytonstone, Alliston House in Walthamstow, and Mapleton Road Home in Chingford, faced a shortage of PPE to protect them and their residents.
The Department of Health has been criticised for failing to provide enough PPE, with the council leader of neighbouring Redbridge claiming they were sent a week’s supply with no gloves.
The borough’s schools have also stepped up to help staff at Whipps Cross Hospital – with every secondary school in the borough donating equipment.
Emma Hillman, headteacher at Heathcote School and Science College in Chingford, said: “Our staff, parents and pupils recognise the importance of coming together to support those in need, especially at a time like this – we’re delighted and honoured to help the borough-wide community however we can.”
PPE items that can be donated include disposable masks, disposable aprons, protective eyewear such as goggles or protective glasses, anti-viral gloves, disposable foot protectors, hand sanitiser, and anti-bacterial wipes.
Find out how you can help: