Heathrow donates 10,000 face masks to NHS teams

COVID-19: Our members taking responsible business action

Heathrow has donated 10,000 face masks to NHS heroes working at Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Hillingdon Hospital, as well as 60,000 liquid bags to West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Heathrow airport has reached out to other local frontline organisations to offer more FFP3 masks, recognising the ongoing need for key health workers across the UK to have personal protection equipment (PPE).

The airport has provided laptops and educational resources to local schools to support home-learning and has redeployed its Heathrow community rangers, to assist with delivering donations to food banks. In addition, the Heathrow Community Trust (HCT) granted £95,000 in rapid emergency funding for community groups responding to COVID-19.

Heathrow colleagues helping in the community

The Heathrow executive team have donated 36 laptops to local primary schools while the airport’s community rangers are delivering learning packs each fortnight to hundreds of children to allow them to learn at home. Heathrow has also created a selection of online educational resources available to schools and parents on the Heathrow website.

They have delivered donations from Team Heathrow partners to local foodbanks (including Harrods and Café Nero donations), and are supporting Slough CVS transport resources across the borough.

The Heathrow helpers scheme has been set up to encourage colleagues to volunteer and find out what others have been doing to support the response to COVID-19.

One colleague supporting the community is Security Operations Manager Jaz Gill, who runs the charity InspiredByHope outside his Heathrow duties. In response to COVID-19, Jaz has joined up with like-minded charities to support the NHS, vulnerable families, the elderly, the homeless and families that are self-isolating.

Using a network of volunteer chefs, kitchen staff, and delivery drivers Jaz’s charity is making about 4,000 meals a day for hospitals, shelters and family homes. InspiredByHope is also beginning to provide support to pharmacies by dropping off medication to the elderly.

Keeping the airport open and safe

Heathrow remains open, helping to cater for essential repatriation and cargo flights, which are carrying vital medical equipment and supplies for frontline teams across the UK battling against this pandemic. Government data has revealed the significant role Heathrow airport has played in equipping front-line workers and hospitals in their fight against COVID-19. From January until March this year, Heathrow welcomed 5,269 tonnes of specific medical cargo items urgently needed in the COVID-19 pandemic including hospital equipment, PPE, sterilisation and disinfecting products, medical oxygen, medicines, swabs and test kits from dedicated cargo carriers such as DHL Express or repurposed passenger aircraft. 

Since the pandemic begain, Heathrow has worked closely with Public Health England to take all necessary steps to keep the airport safe. Hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers and clear screen dividers have been installed across the airport, additional cleaning and sanitation procedures undertaken, and signage and floor stickers implemented to remind passengers to follow the government’s social-distancing measures. Heathrow colleagues must now wear face coverings and the airport is also offering coverings to all passengers should they wish to wear them. Heathrow is also helping to bolster the government’s testing capability by hosting a new regional COVID-19 drive-through testing site, which officially launches this week.   

Heathrow is working with the UK government and industry bodies to push for the creation of a common international standard for health screening at airports, needed to unlock global trade and travel moving forward. Thermal screening technology to detect elevanted temperatures of passengers is one measure that could be part of this standard and it is now being trialled at the airport.

£95k rapid emergency funding from Heathrow colleagues

The Heathrow Community Trust (HCT) is granting £95,000 in rapid emergency funding for community groups responding to COVID-19. Funding from HCT reserves – generated by fundraising efforts from Heathrow colleagues in 2019 – will be used to support projects including equipping the elderly with technology to help stay connected with friends and family.

Support will be issued to organisations that have an active HCT-funded project and are providing vital care to the most vulnerable.

Commenting on the release of funding support, Director of the Heathrow Community Trust Beccy Bowden, said:

“This funding is providing much-needed support to our neighbouring community groups who are working tirelessly to keep local people safe and healthy. The only way to get through this challenging time is by maintaining our strong community spirit and offering as much support as we can to one another. I am incredibly proud of the fundraising efforts of employees of Heathrow and Team Heathrow companies which have meant that when support is most needed, the Trust has been able to move incredibly quickly to release emergency funding.”

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