Punchline Business and Community Champion: Forest business starts cottage industry supporting NHS
By Andrew Merrell | 14th April 2020
Staff at Calico Interiors were forced to be furloughed after workload dropped as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.
But the employees felt that they couldn't just stand by and watch the efforts of front line NHS workers. They wanted to use their expertise to help fight the virus too.
Using the skills they usually apply to their day job - making quality furnishing for people's homes - boss Pauline Nash and her staff have been busy.
Together with some other independent machinists they have been making laundry bags for NHS staff to use to safely wash their uniforms.
"The bags are being made using NHS approved anti-bacterial curtain fabric and the Calico team is dropping these off at Forest GP surgeries and the Dilke & Lydney Community Hospitals," said Wendy Jackson, regeneration manager for Forest of Dean District Council who heard about the team's efforts from the Growth Hub.
"Furloughed staff are teaching their children and grandchildren how to sew, so it is becoming something of a new cottage industry at this fraught time.
"The team of machinists have made 300 bags so far and are also exploring with NHS procurement if they can supply scrubs to local healthcare professionals too."
All of which is why Punchline has named Calico Interiors as one of its Business and Community Champions.
The campaign is an initiative backed by the Gloucestershire local enterprise partnership, GFirst LEP, and the Growth Hub, which runs the network of business support centres county-wide.
The aim of the campaign - to shine the spotlight on some of the great work being done by businesses to help their communities during the pandemic.
Punchline's Business and Community Champion Awards are sponsored by:
The Growth Hub Gloucestershire
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