How Barclays is backing businesses helping the NHS
Barclays has helped thousands of businesses access the finance they need to keep going in these difficult times. Some clients have gone above and beyond, adapting to provide vital resources to the NHS. From ventilator parts and PPE to free cab rides for key workers, they share how Barclays support helped them make the change.
It’s a difficult time for businesses – but many are putting their own challenges aside to help others, transforming their operations to support healthcare workers on the front line. Here are five companies making a difference, with Barclays’ support.
Pivoting to provide ventilator parts
As the pandemic impacted the UK, Hampshire-based manufacturer West Group recognised that its machinery for producing fluid control components could help provide vital parts for ventilators used by the NHS. Answering the call of Ventilator Challenge UK, the group pivoted its resources to make essential components for over 40,000 ventilators.
Barclays enabled West Group to quickly adapt its operations and access the capital to meet the large order at short notice, helping the team secure two CBILS loans, as well as providing additional support to ensure the parts could be produced as quickly as possible.
Everyone at our company has been working evenings and weekends. I am very proud knowing that the parts made here, in our UK factories, are saving lives around the world
Sales and Marketing Director at West Group
West Group’s impact hasn’t been confined to the UK – many of its ventilator parts have been exported to health services around the world, including Australia, Brazil and USA.
Darryl Osborne, Sales and Marketing Director at West Group, highlights the unwavering dedication of staff at the company: “When we were asked to help produce ventilator parts for the NHS, our team was galvanised.
“Everyone at our company has been working evenings and weekends, with members of the marketing and customer services departments volunteering to help with manufacturing. I am very proud knowing that the parts made here, in our UK factories, are saving lives around the world.”
Free electrical checks for NHS Nightingale hospitals
P&S Electrical completes over 1,000,000 electrical safety tests across the UK every year – but the national lockdown saw many clients postponing planned work, forcing the business to review its finances. Barclays secured the company a £90,000 CBILS loan, which allowed P&S to offer its services to the NHS, free of charge, sending engineers to the London and Birmingham Nightingale hospitals – part of a national network set up in response to the pandemic.
Barclays’ support meant that rather than being stopped by coronavirus, our engineers are out helping schools and hospitals across the UK
Owner of P&S Electrical
They provided 20 days of free electrical work to the NHS sites, where they tested the beds and medical equipment before the hospitals opened to patients. Owner Peter Yeats says that the bank has allowed the business to make a real difference during the crisis: “Barclays’ support meant that rather than being stopped by coronavirus, our engineers are out helping schools and hospitals across the UK.”
“It’s important that everyone pulls together now”
With the help of a CBILS loan, online cab comparison site Minicabit has enabled customers to donate free rides, to and from hospitals, to NHS workers across the UK. CEO Amer Hasan says: “Our national coverage means that we can support essential workers even in rural areas.”
When the coronavirus crisis hit, Kulbir Soha, an entrepreneur who runs importing firms FCL Heath and FCL Group in the West Midlands, saw an 80% drop in demand for his product lines. But, after securing CBILS loans worth £1.3m for his businesses through Barclays , he’s now able to import essential medical goods and direct them to where they’re needed most.
“We’ve been able to donate a shipment of protective masks to the NHS,” Kulbir says. “It’s important that everyone pulls together now.”
With this security, we can now focus on supporting the NHS by pivoting our business. Our first delivery of 3,500 gowns is already with those who need it
Owner of Abbey Retail
Further north, Manchester-based clothing manufacturer Abbey Retail received a £98,000 CBIL loan from Barclays. Although the company usually produces garments for major e-commerce chains including boohoo.com, the support has meant owner Naeem Ali can provide crucial assistance to hospitals, securing a contract to produce hospital gowns for frontline NHS workers.
“With this security, we can now focus on supporting the NHS by pivoting our business,” he says. “Our first delivery of 3,500 gowns is already with those who need it.”