It's GR8 news! Mail Force's PPE fund edges towards £8million

It’s GR8 news! Mail Force’s PPE fund edges towards £8million thanks to generous readers’ donations… as care home that kept Covid-19 at bay has its first delivery of protective kit in two months

  • Yesterday 1,400 cheques arrived, adding more than £133,000 to the fund
  • This takes the total donated by readers to nearly £2.5million 
  •  Pledges from donors and corporate partners mean the fund is almost £8million
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Health Service was there for them in their hour of need. 

Now more Mail readers than ever have pledged to support our hardworking doctors and nurses with generous donations to Mail Force. 

Already more than 44,000 of you have donated to the charity – backed by the Mail – which is leading a campaign to make sure NHS and care staff on the coronavirus front line have enough personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Yesterday another 1,400 cheques arrived, adding more than £133,000 to the fund and taking the total donated by readers to nearly £2.5million. 

Mail Force PPE Delivery to Hankham Lodge Residential Care Home, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Pledges from philanthropists and corporate partners have helped the fund soar to almost £8million. 

The drive prompted praise from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who told MPs in the Commons: ‘I pay tribute to the [Mail Force] PPE campaign, they have raised an enormous amount of money to bring in PPE from China.’ 

Many readers sending cheques included letters saying why they were donating and praising the NHS. 

Allan Mason, 74, of South Cave, East Yorkshire, told how he had suffered a heart attack recently. 

He called 999 and was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary then to Castle Hill Hospital for emergency surgery. 

‘Words alone cannot express the thanks to the vast number of people (I estimate between 40 and 50) who in their own individual way, gave love, devotion and dedication to saving my life,’ he said. 

David Leader sent a generous donation in memory of Vera, his wife of 56 years who died in January, as he was unable to buy her a present for her birthday on May 6. 

‘A grateful thank you to all NHS staff in Guy’s, St Thomas’, Maidstone Hospital and especially Tunbridge Wells Hospital for the care and love shown in her last three weeks. 

‘I know she would have appreciated this somewhat unusual birthday present,’ he said. Barry Owen, 83, also thanked the NHS for his treatment since 2010. 

‘The surgeons and nurses have been outstanding. So often I lay watching them run off their feet. Nothing but praise for them – hope this small gift will help,’ he wrote. 

Another letter signed simply ‘Great grandma’ read: ‘Over my life (84 years) I have had so many reasons to be grateful.’ 

The latest time was for the care given to her great-grandson, born 12 weeks early at just 2lbs in November. 

He is now back home weighting 11lbs. Shirley Liddell, of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and her mother Penelope Oldham, 95, both sent generous donations. 

Mrs Oldham suffered a stroke this year and was looked after by the NHS in High Wycombe. 

Mrs Liddell wrote: ‘She was given the very best of care on the stroke unit. She is back home being cared for 24/7 by a wonderful carer who, to keep her safe, is isolated with her. 

‘This PPE is so necessary to keep everyone safe. ‘Long may Mail Force keep up its good work. 

‘It is truly heart-warming to see red tape being sidelined and to feel that someone is doing something.’ 

PPE has already been delivered to hospitals, care homes and ambulance stations across the country. Plans are underway to bring in further consignments.

HERE’S HOW TO DONATE 

Mail Force Charity has been launched with one aim to help support NHS staff, volunteers and care workers fight back against Covid-1 in the UK.

Mail Force is a separate charity established and supported by the Daily Mail and General Trust. 

The money raised will fund essential equipment required by the NHS and care workers. 

This equipment is vital in protecting the heroic staff whilst they perform their fantastic work in helping the UK overcome this pandemic.

If we raise more money than is needed for vital Covid-1 equipment, we will apply all funds to support the work of the NHS in other ways.

Click the button below to make a donation:

If the button is not visible, click here 

Care home gets first kit delivery for two months

By Jaya Narain 

A care home which has successfully battled to keep Covid-19 at bay has had its first delivery of PPE in more than two months. 

Hankham Lodge received just a single box of medical face masks at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. 

Since then it has had nothing despite pleas to health agencies – with desperate bosses even ordering fancy dress medical gowns as an emergency back-up. 

Now, thanks to Mail Force, the home – which looks after 17 elderly residents in Eastbourne, East Sussex – has received two boxes of protective coveralls. 

Luckily, they have not had a single virus case due to a strict social distancing and disinfection routine. 

Owner Peter Sims, who has 20 part-time and 12 full-time staff, said: ‘It has been impossible trying to find PPE so this is a huge boost for us, so thank you.

‘I have to say the local agencies have been pretty rubbish. I didn’t even get a reply when I twice reached out to the local resilience forum. 

‘I’ve sent numerous emails to multiple agencies without much joy. 

‘We had a single box of 300 masks delivered at the start of this pandemic and nothing after that. 

‘We managed to source our own gloves and a volunteer group gave us some visors they had made.’ 

Mr Sims, who lives on the premises with his wife and children, added: ‘Luckily we haven’t had anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 but we’ve been holding our breath. It’s quite stressful.’ 

The two boxes of 40 coveralls were accepted by staff, who said they now feel safer. Fran Weston added: ‘They’re exactly what we’ve been looking for. Thank you.’

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