When we raced in Saudi Arabia back in November, no one could have predicted the upcoming disruption to the Formula E season. Moreover, the terrible and widespread impact that COVID-19 has had and continues to have across the globe.
But in difficult times, people and communities come together. I’m extremely proud to be part of the motorsport community, which has shown incredible generosity in recent weeks.
My performance engineer Andrea Ackroyd has family working in the NHS. She was telling me about the terrible effect it was having on our health service workers and how they were already running out of personal protection equipment (PPE), which helps them to stay safe while providing invaluable support to hospital patients suffering from the virus.
With motorsport events on pause, Andrea had the idea to gather as much surplus PPE stock, which motorsport teams often use, and donate it to the NHS. I was right behind her, and together we drafted a letter to teams asking for unopened face masks, goggles, gloves, Tyvek suits, shoe covers, plastic aprons, barrier cream, industrial hand and surface wipes – anything that could help our NHS workers who are in such dire need of it.
And the motorsport community did us proud!
I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of teams and individual who have donated all the stock they can. To date, we’ve been able to provide the NHS with:
- Almost 40,000 gloves
- 1,900 masks
- 150 Tyvek suits
- 20 safety glasses
- 32 tubs of hand cleansing wipes & 16 refill packs
- 6 alcohol hand gel bottles
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. Williams F1, Mercedes F1 and AlphaTauri had quite a lot of usable stock and have been particularly generous in their donations. It’s hugely appreciated by Andrea and I, along with the NHS staff that have been able to make good use of it.
We’ve so far provided PPE to both University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire and Milton Keynes University Hospital. But we’ll of course take more! Having a lot of time on my hands currently, I’m happy to collect and collate the equipment and deliver it to the local hospitals in need.
For those that still have PPE and are able to support please don’t hesitate to complete this form providing rough quantities of any donations: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kO1kgtPcaO3uih6P-m3pV7NAwDwNdkHJ/view
Sincerest thanks to all those that have donated. Although the amount we’re able to provide is only a fraction of what the NHS needs on a daily basis, we’re still doing our bit to help them operate as safely as possible during this time.
Thank you, and stay safe.