Much-needed personal protection equipment is being delivered to the frontline by Essex businesses in the fight against Coronavirus.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) for Essex is bringing together partners across the county to ensure a wide range of urgent needs are met.

The work is ensuring aid is being given quickly and businesses are gaining access to new opportunities to help them to stay afloat – or giving their time and resources for free.

The PFCC has matched the needs established by the Essex Resilience Forum with the business solutions found via Essex Chambers of Commerce members.

One example of the partnership in action is 19 special needs schools in the county being provided with the PPE they desperately need for 12 weeks by global logistics and supply chain specialist Woodland Group, in Chelmsford.

Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “When we were told special needs schools in Essex were in need of PPE, we were able to source it through our network of members. Woodland Group sourced and distributed the equipment, as well as providing a forklift driver to the PPE hub in Witham. They are a main supplier for us and we know we can turn to them at any time with new requests.

“The provision of PPE was a big help to those schools. We are absolutely delighted to be able to collaborate and help in this way.

“We are now also speaking with care homes to see what they need. We are going out to the county and asking those who need PPE equipment to get in touch, so we can push the requests out to our members.

“We have got to diversify, and we are able to do that through our extensive contacts. Through the Chambers of Commerce and our wonderfully vibrant business companies, vital work is being done. People join as members because we represent business and are a lobbying organisation, but also because in unprecedented times we come together to help; that’s all we want to do.

Kevin Stevens, CEO of Woodland Group, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with the Essex Chambers of Commerce to help to answer an important need in the county.”

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Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “We are fortunate in Essex to have such a vibrant and entrepreneurial business community. During these difficult times it is excellent to see how our communities come together, with both businesses and the public working hand in hand. The Chamber have a long track record of working effectively with businesses and the emergency services, so it is no surprise that they have grasped this opportunity to make a difference.”

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