Wigan bike shop owner donates protective motorcross goggles to NHS
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Alan Woods, who runs Alan’s BMX on Wallgate, arranged for motocross goggles to be delivered to Wigan Infirmary to help staff in A&E.
And a drive to get the public involved by buying cut-price goggles means a further 50 pairs are being given to employees at the hospital and in the North West Ambulance service (NWAS).
Alan, from Billinge, was moved to help key workers requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) after seeing a news story about a doctor who bought himself off-road biking goggles with his own money because he wasn’t issued any.
He started making arrangements for Wigan NHS workers to receive some and then turned to the borough’s kind-hearted residents to get more.
And the NHS nurse who has been giving the goggles out spoke movingly of how tough it is for the health service and employees’ gratitude to the public for their support.
Alan, 55, said: “I saw the post about the doctor having to spend his own money on goggles and just thought it was crazy. Initially my idea was to contact the supplier and get some for me to donate, but then I saw a shop had done something where customers bought them at reduced price and I thought that was a good idea.
“People really want to help and feel they are doing something. It’s good to see them rallying round.
“Without the NHS workers on the front line there would be no-one to look after us. It’s a bad situation at the moment.
“It’s not just at the hospital, ambulance crews are on the front line too.”
So far Alan and his customers have provided goggles for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust employees and NWAS.
However, he says he is now thinking about broadening the scheme to support the health service in areas beyond his home town as well.
Distribution of the donated goggles has been organised by WWL staff nurse Gemma Fairhurst.
She spoke frankly of how health workers are feeling working on the front line of the pandemic and thanked residents for their backing.
She said: “I’ve seen some of the ambulance crews really upset by the lack of PPE and it really affected me too. There was one particular shift which was quite tough.
“We’ve now got hundreds of coveralls and masks and now also the goggles Alan and his customers have kindly donated.
“The first ones went to A&E for the resuscitation and Covid areas and we will cascade the rest through the hospital and NWAS. I’ve given some goggles to Wigan and Leigh Hospice as well.
“We just want to feel safe in doing our job at the moment.
“We’re all really thankful for the support we are getting. It’s tough enough at the moment so having the public and community behind us and showing us how much they care and want us to succeed in getting past this pandemic is amazing. It’s making us all feel very humbled.”
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