Walking through Devizes on Monday I was encouraged to see so many following the new rules about wearing a mask while in shops - with many going further and wearing them while travelling between businesses, too. Although this can take some getting used to, after a while it becomes second nature. I really hope that this precaution will prevent a second peak of coronavirus cases and will allow our shops and hospitality sector to remain open.
It was very timely, then, to hear of a scheme thought up by a constituent to provide masks at bulk to businesses in return for charitable donations. Jamie Cayzer-Colvin privately sourced 20,000 face masks as it became apparent these might soon be required for members of the public, and is now passing these on to businesses who in return donate to the Stars Appeal, Salisbury District Hospital’s charity.
For a £50 donation a business receives a box of 50 masks and, rather than making a profit for a private supplier, the money is used to help those staying in the hospital. So far about 12,000 masks have already been donated to businesses within or closely linked to Salisbury hospital’s catchment area (including the southern part of the Devizes constituency), with others sold in local markets, totalling more than £12,000 in donations so far. The masks can be sent out or distributed instantly, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Stars Appeal - a charity which will have impacted many constituents and which has lost out on about £500,000 of expected fundraising due to the coronavirus crisis cancelling its usual events.
I applaud the idea, for business owners to help the hospital while also providing masks for their own staff or customers. Boxes are available from 01722 346861 or email Amanda Newbery (who offered use of her nightclub in Salisbury as a distribution centre) at firstname.lastname@example.org