Central England Co-op supports lifesaving nurses in Birmingham with donation of washable bags

Carers on standby to work on the frontline at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham have been supported with a special donation from Central England Co-op.

Almost 2,500 cotton bags have been donated to be used by healthcare workers who may be deployed to support the hospital which has been built at the NEC Birmingham to care for COVID-19 patients from across the Midlands.

They will play a small but vital role in allowing workers to place their uniforms in the bags and straight into the wash when they get home.

The donation came about after a colleague at Central England Co-op in Lichfield was initially approached by a friend to support Marie Curie Nurses who were set to be deployed to the hospital.

Jody Meakin, marketing communications assistant at the retailer’s Lichfield headquarters, said: “One of my friend’s has a family member who works at Marie Curie and they had asked about the possibility of getting hold of some cotton bags that our stores had previously sold.

“They were perfect as they are washable, so the nurses can put their uniform in them each night and put them straight in to the wash when they get home. I got hold of 240 bags and these have gone out to the Marie Curie Nurses as part of their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits.

“However, we decided to look into getting more of the bags out to staff at the Nightingale Hospital and we are delighted to have managed to get over 2,000 more for those on the frontline to use. It’s only a small thing but I’m so happy we’ve been able to help.”

The hospital is being run by University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and its charity has taken delivery of the 2,000 plus bags to pass on to workers on the frontline across its hospitals, including Nightingale.

Central England Co-op’s partners APS Group covered the delivery costs to show their support to the great cause.

Justine Davy, head of fundraising for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity, said: “On behalf of all of our incredible staff members across University Hospitals Birmingham and the NHS Nightingale Hospital I would like to thank everyone at Central England Co-op for their generous donation of cotton bags.

“These bags will help our staff members by giving them a washable bag to transport their uniforms home from the hospitals for washing, helping to keep them and their families as safe as possible.

“At UHB Charity we are committed to helping our staff and patients through these challenging times, and our thanks goes to Central England Co-op for helping us with this brilliant donation.”

Amy McNaughton-Brown, fundraising engagement lead at Marie Curie’s West Midlands Hospice, said: “We would like to thank Central England Co-op for their kind donation of wash bags for our frontline staff. Whilst we are all being urged to stay at home Marie Curie Nurses and doctors are continuing to provide care for people with terminal illnesses in their own homes or in one of our nine Marie Curie hospices.

“We need the support from the public now more than ever and we would like to thank Central England Co-op for this lovely gesture during these challenging times, our staff really appreciate it.”

Central England Co-op recently announced a 10% discount for all NHS workers to say thank you for their efforts working on the frontline to help tackle the Coronavirus.

All NHS workers have to do is show their ID card when they visit any of the retailer’s 242 food stores to receive 10% off all food and other essentials.

They will also be able to get priority access to Central England Co-op stores by moving to the front of any external queue when waiting to enter.

People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting www.centralengland.coop/updates