The masks and aprons, which would have cost The Salvation Army £230,000 were paid for by supporters of the charity set up by the Daily Mail and its partners. As well as bolstering supplies to The Salvation Army’s frontline services the bulk delivery will also be shared with two other charities; Age UK and Leonard Cheshire as well as the social enterprise, Turning Point.
Malcolm Page, assistant director of homelessness services at The Salvation Army said: “This generous donation will save lives and money and we are very grateful to Mail Force. We are currently spending around £24,000 per week on PPE to keep our staff and vulnerable service users safe. Having such a big donation means we can re-channel some of that money to stocking up food banks, running our debt advice line and helping victims of modern slavery.
“The Salvation Army has been at the frontline of the coronavirus response from the beginning. Whether delivering food parcels to those who couldn’t leave the house to helping homeless people to self-isolate. We are committed to being there for the most vulnerable and that means doing all we can to keep our service users and staff safe and using our community networks to get PPE out to other organisations too.
“The Salvation Army is uniquely placed with its network of sites in communities across the country coupled with a ‘can do’ mentality to store and organise the onward distribution of the PPE supplies.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK said: “Thank you so much to those who have donated to Mail Force and to The Salvation Army for their thoughtful support during this exceptionally challenging time. This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones. Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis. Thank you for making sure we can respond to the growing needs and unprecedented demand we’re seeing.”
Hugh Fenn, executive director UK Care Services at Leonard Cheshire said: “The last three months have seen numerous acts of generosity and goodwill from a diverse mix of benefactors, providing vital PPE for us at a critical time. This donation from Mail Force through The Salvation Army is particularly generous and indicative of the tremendous cooperation apparent in our sector and beyond during the pandemic.
“We are extremely grateful to Daily Mail readers for their generosity and our friends at The Salvation Army for their logistical expertise in getting PPE where it is urgently needed.”
Clare Taylor, national director of operations at Turning Point, said: “Despite the additional funding for social care to cover the costs of responding to the COVID pandemic, local government finance is under significant pressure and future funding is uncertain so any support for vital front-line services is welcomed. This is why we are hugely grateful for this donation which will be a great help in protecting our amazing staff and the people we support in these testing times.”
The bulk delivery follows an initial drop of 4,000 items of PPE to two Salvation Army care homes, a Lifehouse – supported housing for former homeless people and the church and charity’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery service.