COVID-19: Doing our bit

At Labman we are working (very) hard to come up with ways in which we can help local businesses and the wider community.
Labman cultureProject spotlight 14 min read

Katie SimpsonPublished 16th Apr 2020

The last couple of months have been like no other. Many of us will have never before, and will never again experience anything like it. The Coronavirus pandemic has meant unprecedented changes to everyday life which affect each and every one of us, in a global effort to save lives.

Here at Labman we are lucky enough to have a team of big-thinkers and since the outbreak began we have been working (very) hard to come up with ways in which we can help local businesses and the wider community to keep calm and carry on, in true British style!

Labmask is a simple, single use clear visor designed to prevent fluid from reaching the face, to be used in hospitals for NHS and frontline workers. The Labmask initiative has one message: ‘Thank you NHS, you are awesome - this visor is not for profit, it’s for people’.

We made the decision to donate almost half of our Labman factory build space to the Labmask team to enable production, and since the initiative began, demand for them has been massive. The Labmask team is a group of volunteers, some Labman staff but also members of the local community who kindly volunteered via the Labmask webpage

The simple but potentially life saving masks are wrapped, packed and delivered by more kind volunteers direct to hospitals and surgeries each day. This week, The team hit the epic milestone of 50,000 masks produced.

This really is amazing work. The reaction has been incredible from both the general public offering support and the gratitude of frontline workers in receipt of the masks. It is fantastically rewarding to know we are playing even just a small part in the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.

We believe that keeping spirits up is a massive part of the battle. As soon as ‘lockdown’ began and the schools and nurseries closed, we decided we should do something not only to help keep parents sane, but also keep those little ones occupied, for at least a little while. And of course it had to be robot related!

Our Coronavirus Response Page tasks children with designing and building a robot from anything which can be found at home. They give their creation a name and send a photo in to us and we add it to our Wall of Fame, and share it on social media to spread a little joy. There is no competition or prize, we are simply encouraging freedom and creativity and the entries have been fantastic.

We have had everything from the ‘Lego Scooper 2000’, to the ‘Disinfectation Station’ which disinfects clothes and equipment for NHS workers!

The Coronavirus outbreak has meant a number of key local businesses have been faced with the impossible choice of shutting their doors completely, or (despite best efforts to practice the social distancing guidelines) risk catching and spreading the virus further. Among them were the local Co-op, a fruit and veg shop, the pharmacy, the local surgery and the Post Office.

They reached out to us to see if we could help, and so we donated and installed perspex screens for them designed specifically for their workspace to minimise the risk of airborne and touch contamination at the counter.

We are humbled by the efforts made by our team here at Labman and the spirited response from hundreds of local volunteers. We want to say a massive thank-you to everyone who came up with ideas, worked (and are still working) silly hours, and provided their dedication in this national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.