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Coronavirus: Tayside businesses honoured for pandemic heroics

Tracey Caldwell (left) and Thelma Baxter from Tayside Linen Services with some of the Tayside Teal scrubs
Tracey Caldwell (left) and Thelma Baxter from Tayside Linen Services with some of the Tayside Teal scrubs

Business from across Tayside have been recognised for their efforts to support their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The nine organisations have been nominated in the British Chambers of Commerce National Business Heroes Awards launched earlier this year.

The team at Mackie Motors donated two electric vehicles to local charity Voluntary Action Angus so it could deliver goods, including food and medicine, to people who were self isolating.

Wellgate Shopping Centre staff marked the bravery and dedication of key workers by handing out 250 thermal cups which have been decorated by local children with their messages of thanks. The Wellgate has also been instrumental in pulling together retailers to support with donations for local foodbanks.

Alexander’s Community Development helped thousands of local people by pulling together local businesses and members of the public to supply and deliver food parcels, providing support to more than 25 local foodbanks.

Balhousie Care Group was one of the first major employers in the region to make a point of recruiting people who were furloughed or out of work. The firm helped prepare sandwiches for homeless and vulnerable people and developed an app to help staff stay safe at at work. Other initiatives included bringing in a local singer to perform – socially distanced – for residents to enjoy and providing on online cooking skills sessions for foster children in the region.

Hillcrest was applauded for its efforts to source PPE for frontline workers. The housing association’s Hillcrest Futures’ harm reduction team also delivered an outreach service in partnership with NHS harm reduction nurses to help people at high risk due to their drug and alcohol use.

Dundee Removal Services supported many other companies across the region to deliver food and supplies to the most vulnerable. The firm’s vans and trucks also helped deliver vital equipment to a local hospital.

Scott Brothers Butchers set up an online service and a phone service so people who did not have any internet could order food deliveries at a time when the supermarkets were under pressure. Along with its own butcher meat, staff went out of their way to source items from other suppliers. They also increased their ready meals selection and delivered free food to students when their halls of residence were put into lockdown.

Volunteers at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design sewed reusable face coverings and produced 5,000 scrubs for NHS Tayside staff.

Finally, Halley Stevenson  worked with local health bosses to produce large volumes of fabric at the firm’s Dundee factory in a bespoke colour called Tayside Teal. It was used to produce 4,000 pairs of scrubs. Halley Stevenson also donated a large quantity of the fabric for use by community stitchers.

Alison Henderson, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, said they should all be really proud.

“In a year when we’ve all struggled in our own way, these heroes remind us that the resilience of people is what helps us stand out and raise our collective aspirations,” she said.

Louise Byars, Group Head of Corporate Services at Balhousie Care Group, said: “This award will be such a boost to our hardworking staff in a hugely challenging year.”

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