A close network of Yorkshire companies has rallied round to source supplies of much needed personal protection equipment for North Yorkshire’s care workers.

North Yorkshire County Council senior officers spent much of last weekend on the phone to business associates across the region who could help in the crucial sourcing of PPE.  In particular, they were in search of Type II R fluid-resistant surgical masks, so that carers can continue to carry out their critical work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic in looking after older and disabled people. As a result of collective effort and calls late into the night, Skipton company Deliver Net, which procures medical and cleaning products for care companies, linked in with the County Council to make a delivery this week of 11,000 of these urgently needed face masks.

“I could not ask more of our business partners” said Richard Flinton, Chief Executive for North Yorkshire County Council. “As soon as we put the call out about the need to maintain our PPE stocks and the need to extend our supply chain, the business community pulled out all the stops on our behalf.  By Monday we were linked in with Deliver Net, a vital company within our own county that could help out.”

The County Council, which continues to press ahead with its own established channels for PPE supply, is buoyed by this quick response from regional business as calls from senior officers prompted a rapid chain of support. The County Council has also been supported with emergency back-up supplies from a range of other local and regional businesses, including the natural oils company O&3, co-founded by Jennifer Wood, Eleanor Wade and Thomas Kerfoot.

The company has sourced thousands of respiration face masks from a supplier in China that are now on their way to North Yorkshire.  Jennifer Wood, who is O&3’s Chief Executive said: “Like so many others at this time, we want to do what we can to lift those around us. So, when we learned that our local care services were in need of personal protection equipment to care for many people’s loved ones safely, we wanted to see if we could help.

“Our O&3 family are feeling this uncertainty as much as everyone else across our region so if we can ease just a little of the angst and concern it is the least we can do.  We are humbled to help.”

Other local companies in the county have this week given and delivered a broad range of face mask types for use as back-up if supplies of Type II R masks are disrupted, include highways contractor Ringway; construction industry supplier Hansons UK and l’Ansons, animal feed supplier in Masham.

“It is very heart-warming to know we have so much help out there in meeting this critical challenge” said Richard Flinton. “But this problem carries on; the challenge continues as we struggle with national supply and so we need people to continue to rally to our cause. Our carers need all the supplies and support we can get to them and we are turning over every stone to make sure we keep these supplies going and that they are used in the right way at the right time and for the right purposes. In particular we would welcome any further supplies of Type II R fluid-resistant face masks and disposable eye protection to keep care workers safe and protected.”

“But people across our communities can also play a fundamental part in fighting coronavirus and keeping people safe.  The key message we want to get across to all our North Yorkshire residents continues to be – if you want to save lives and help the NHS and our care sector, stay at home, wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water and if you must go out for essential supplies keep at least a two metre distance from other people.”

For more information go to: www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus