In response to the huge PPE shortages experienced in the current Covid-19 crisis, Birmingham based textile manufacturer, Loft25, and registered charity Green Lane Mosque & Community Centre, started a volunteer project to provide free protective overalls and scrubs for the NHS, front-line workers and heroic medical staff. During the lockdown period, the organisations have been overseeing volunteer machinists and drivers, specialising in material supply, cutting, sewing, QA, sanitisation, and delivery. Over 1000 volunteers were active on the project at its peak, with Loft 25 overseeing the operations and providing a physical location, whilst GLMCC sourced volunteers and provided marketing and PR.
However, the project had a couple of key challenges; outdated systems proved tricky when trying to recruit volunteers and managing both production and delivery batches going to and from volunteer machinists, the base warehouse and end users via spreadsheets was creating inefficiencies.
Through the support of volunteering days, TSG was able to offer a helping hand. At TSG we actively encourage our staff to take 2 days (fully paid) to undertake voluntary work for charity. TSG’s Dynamics 365/Power Platform team recognised the effort of the partnered organisations and decided to use their volunteering days to help by developing a solution to these key challenges.
The D365/Power Platform team created the ‘Hack4Good’ day, led by Senior Consultant, Matt Collins-Jones and Solution Delivery Manager, Ilyas Khan, supported by David Wood and Justin Wilkinson, to build an all-encompassing Microsoft Dynamics 365/Power Platform based solution for the project, to enable the teams to better manage the high demand it was facing. Alongside this, Forms Pro was utilised to allow the onboarding of new volunteers, in a new, clean and efficient process.
The solution TSG created has continued to support the delivery of this campaign, with Zhagum Arshad of Loft25 saying, “We can’t thank team TSG enough! This solution will save lives on the frontline. We have an influx of volunteers on the PPE for the NHS project and needed to scale the operation on a timescale of hours not days and the TSG team responded in spectacular fashion”.
Following on from the help of TSG, the campaign has been a huge success and Loft25 and GLMCC has supplied the NHS with over 25,000 units of PPE worth over £400,000 to organisations such as:
Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid, Badger Clinics, Acorns Children's Hospice, Birmingham City Council, NHS Birmingham Community Healthcare, Birmingham Jewish Community Care, Birmingham Mental Health Trust, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Manchester/London/Birmingham Jewish Community Groups, West Midlands Care and Nursing Homes, West Midlands NHS GP Surgeries, John Taylor Hospice, NHS Urgent Dental Care Centres, NHS Walsall Community Care Group, Solihull Council and Care Homes, St. Andrew's Hospice, Walsall Manor Hospital, Worcester Hospital, Pinderfields Hospital, NHS Worcester Community Care Group, Northwick Park Hospital, Solihull Hospital, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary, West Midlands/London/East Midlands and Manchester/North England Community Burial Services and more!
In response to the success of the initial campaign, Loft25 and GLMCC created its most recent campaign - the ‘1 Million Mask Challenge’, which actively encourages the general public to create masks themselves from home using a pre-packed kit, accompanied by an instructional video.
Zhagum continued, “from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone involved and for all your hard work and sacrifice. The NHS is taking the brunt of the epidemic and we must play out part to help in any way we can. This solution puts us in a position to ramp up sewing volunteers and production and be counted in this fight! A special thank you to Ilyas Khan who is our volunteer project lead on this and has exemplified the amazing skills Birmingham has to offer when led by the kindness of our hearts. On behalf of everyone at Loft25 we salute you all!”.
You can follow Loft25 and GLMCC’s PPE journey by visiting: