South Yorkshire pulls together to support NHS with PPE

You will have seen the news stories of frontline NHS staff having to work with less than adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 virus outbreak.  It has been said that ‘healthcare workers on the front line without PPE is the same as going to war without armour and protection’ – which is why the government put out a national call for help from businesses and individuals able to supply PPE.

Many South Yorkshire organisations have stepped up… and here is a round-up of some of the great work being done to support our NHS with PPE.

Scrubs for frontline staff

Handmade children’s clothing company Bear & Babe, based in Sheffield, is making scrubs for frontline medical and care workers.  The company is using its studio, at no cost to the NHS, and has enlisted the help of 10 volunteers as well as their four seamstresses to address the shortage in the health and social care sector.

The business has the ability to cut large amounts of fabric, so they can make more scrubs faster than individual sewers, with volunteers also using their own sewing machines to help speed up production.

So far, Bear & Babe has distributed no fewer than 50 scrubs to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“We wanted to do something for Sheffield – and this is our chance to give something back,” said Mary Croft, co-owner of Bear & Babe.

Digital community plays its part

Barnsley College has linked up with the Barnsley Digital Media Centre (DMC), the Library @The Lightbox in Barnsley to support Barnsley Hospital and the NHS.  The College’s Digital Industries Programme Manager Jessica Lee-Henderson, DMC Manager Tracey Johnson and DMC Makerspace Coordinator Paul Bennett have created a network to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The College has been using its cutting and printing equipment in its Art and Design studios to produce 3D visors for the hospital. With assistance from Sheffield-based SH Lasers, they produced a total of 2,500 visors which will also be offered to GP surgeries and nursing homes.

Other Barnsley businesses, such as Outfield Digital, are already producing and supplying visors to support the cause.

Handmade ear protection

Sheffield businesswoman Alicia Milne of Lissy’s Little Lovely’s produces bespoke gifts for babies and hair bows for girls, which gave her the idea of how she could help the NHS.  She started sewing headbands for NHS staff in the hope of helping them protect their ears from bruising and blistering by wearing face masks when working incredibly long hours in full PPE.

The headbands produced have large buttons placed on each side which NHS staff can attach the elastic of the face mask to, rather than their ears.  They are now in high demand with NHS staff members who have recognised what a difference they make.

Local schools play their part

Design & Technology teachers at Bradfield and Chaucer Schools in Sheffield are putting their expertise towards manufacturing face shields for NHS doctors and nurses.  The face shield is one of the most effective barriers for staff to use when in contact with patients. The schools aim to make over 1,000 shields in a week, however they are requesting donations to enable them to purchase the materials including polypropylene sheet and clear acetate, polycarbonate or PVC.

The school has six laser cutters and have come up with a simple but effective design that can be manufactured from two materials and assembled and delivered quickly to the key workers of Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

Anyone who can supply materials or donations school contact Bradfield School on 0114 286 3861

Does your business have the expertise to be able to contribute towards helping the NHS tackle Covid-19? 

If your business has the skills and capabilities to help the NHS to tackle Covid-19, please visit the website

Or maybe you are able to supply essential PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to the NHS?  If so, you should contact NHS England by emailing:

Details of the technical and regulatory standards for Personal Protective Equipment are available here:

Support and guidance from the Growth Hub

The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub exists to help you access the best possible business support. And in these unprecedented times, we are working hard to respond to and support South Yorkshire’s businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Please continue to visit the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub website for key information and support.

The Growth Hub acts as a ‘gateway’ so that your business can access support when you need it the most and within the shortest timeframe.  Our team of specialists offer guidance in the fields of business development and industry support, including innovation, trade and exporting, accessing finance or training.

Please get in touch with us directly by email: or visit for updates and further help and support.

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