The Rugby PPE Response Team won the Volunteer Team Outstanding Service and Care Award from the UHCW Trust.

Some 20 Friends volunteers formed the core of the Rugby PPE Response which helped to bridge the gap between the supply and demand for PPE when the pandemic struck!

Initially, the team co-ordinated the production and distribution of face visors which were donated to NHS staff (including some at St Cross and UH) who were not perceived to be on the immediate front line but were nonetheless exposed to the virus.

The team produced over 13,000 visors which were distributed to 150 the NHS hospitals, GP Surgeries, Dentists and Care Homes and many other institutions who could not source their own supply.

This effort was credited with contributing to the fact that at least in the first wave of the pandemic Rugby suffered fewer infections and fatalities than the average in the country.  It can be implied that this reduced the potential pressure on the UHCW Trust.

In addition, the team co-ordinated stitchers from the town and surrounding area to produce scrubs and scrub bags which were much appreciated by the nurses at St Cross and elsewhere.

This evolved into a huge community effort which has been praised by The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, The Mayor of Rugby, Warwickshire County Council and several other groups around the town. Something of which the entire team is truly proud!

The initiative grew rapidly working in Partnership with schools, companies and local councils as well as the NHS and Care sector.  The team learned and adapted to the pressures placed upon it using a rapid iterative PDA approach.

The award ceremony for this and many other great stories can be seen on YouTube - the volunteer presentations are approximately 40 minutes in!

Photo by Jamie Gray courtesy of the UHCW Trust - Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of the UHCW Trust presented the award to Dr Keith Edgar, Mrs Jo Thomas and Willy Goldschmidt (3 of the founding members of the initiative) who were joined by representatives of Coventry University School of Mechanical Aerospace and Automotive Engineering, Rugby School, Warwickshire Sewing Bees, The Benn Partnership Centre as well as several volunteer 3D printers and seamstresses.