Shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the Covid19 lockdown in the UK, as confirmed cases and deaths from the virus continues to rise, Britain’s Chinese community united to contribute to the National Health Services and essential workers. One such community effort led by C T Tang OBE raised funds and directed donations from China to the “We Care NHS” movement.  By May Zhao, London, England.

The British Chinese Community Group has handed over a consignment of 30,000 PPE gowns earlier this week. They arrived in the UK on 17th April with the assistance of the British Embassy in Beijing and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. About 70,000 surgical masks and other equipment will also follow.

C T Tang OBE, who’s also known as the brain behind the annual Chinese New Year celebrations in London, says, “As a token of thanks, this batch of 30,000 gowns represents the hearts and minds of more than a hundred Chinese community groups and individuals, who would like to show their appreciation to the NHS in the pandemic, and to help in any way to protect the NHS staff in their selfless endeavour to save lives and beat the virus.”

David Lawson, Chief Procurement Officer for Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, says at the brief handover ceremony at one of the NHS supply chain hubs, “We are pleased to confirm receipt of 30,000 protective gowns, essential and timely for our work fighting COVID-19, and to thank the British Chinese Community for this generous donation.”

The ‘We Care NHS’ initiative began in late March after the lockdown was announced, and spearheaded by the London Chinatown Chinese Association and Zhejiang UK Association, has raised donations from various community groups up and down the country to urgently procure and deliver much needed PPE to NHS hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries across the UK. Donations of PPE and ventilators have been made in London, Birmingham and many other parts of the country since the beginning of April 2020. More than four million PPE have been donated so far.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals also received from Shanghai Society UK’s compassionate donation of 160 sets of protective coveralls, and 4 000 pairs of non-latex gloves on 20th April. The hospital clinical procurement manager Ms Lucy Francis said to SSUK,  your sincere contribution will be put to good work ensuring teams have the extra support and resource they need to fight Covid-19, especially on the front line.

The initiative runs concurrently with another donation organised by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the UK for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. That donation two weeks earlier includes 20 ventilators and 1.86 million pieces of PPE for the NHS. By the last weekend, more than four million pieces of PPE have been donated by the Chinese businesses, the Chinese community groups and individuals to the NHS and local care homes.  Across the country, the British Chinese Community Group will look at further requirements to continue to support the NHS and care homes.

Editor: Judy Smith