College rallies to support NHS in fight against COVID-19

A college in the South Wales valleys is doing its bit to support health and social care workers in the community by providing equipment and resources to help in the fight against coronavirus.

Coleg y Cymoedd, which has four campuses in Nantgarw, Rhondda, Aberdare and Ystrad Mynach, has donated vital personal protective equipment (PPE) and opened up its doors to NHS staff while staff and learners continue studies remotely from home.

With a widely reported shortage of PPE among healthcare workers, the college has donated all gloves, masks, safety glasses and disposable aprons from across its campuses to local care homes to keep employees safe. The equipment has been sourced from a range of departments including science, catering, health and social care, creative industries and hair and beauty.

The college has also donated over 350 bottles of hand sanitiser to frontline services. Pre-empting the need for sanitisation products early on, the college had initially ordered the bottles ahead of lockdown to be placed in common areas where staff and learners would not necessarily have access to hand washing facilities.

Following the college’s move to remote learning, it chose to donate hand sanitiser products to NHS and care homes where they were most needed. The donations have been split between two hospitals – Ystrad Mynach and the Royal Glamorgan – as well as to the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, who are distributing them amongst local care homes.

In addition to supplying protection equipment and products, Coleg y Cymoedd has opened-up its facilities to healthcare services who are using campus facilities to train retired NHS veterans who have chosen to return to the frontline.

Campuses have also been used by the Welsh Blood Service as donation stations, with the size of the rooms allowing for appropriate social distancing measures to be implemented during blood collections.

As well as helping the health and care services, the college has also supported the local community, donating food to the Rhondda Cynon Taf Foodbank.

Karen Phillips, Principal at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “We are all immensely grateful to the incredible hard work and dedication of our NHS staff and care workers working on the coronavirus frontline and want to do whatever we possibly can to support them.

“Donating every single item of protective equipment that we have here at the college was a no brainer, and we are proud to have been able to help the NHS with the use of our rooms. We are working on exploring ways to develop our own PPE visors in-house to further support the health service.”