A celebrity-fuelled Tayside campaign to equip frontline heath workers with vital life-saving kit has drawn to a close after delivering more than 1.1 million PPE to surgeries and care homes.
Masks for Scotland was launched nine months ago by Dundee University Professor Jill Belch and was backed by a galaxy of stars including actor Brian Cox, Sir Chris Hoy and KT Tunstall.
Jill set up the charity to buy CE-registered facemasks, gowns, scrubs and gloves for medical teams up and down the country.
It began as a social media campaign, with the first boxes of PPE delivered to Jill’s home in Scone in early April.
But it soon grew into a nationwide cause with a Live Aid-style livesteam hosted by broadcaster Edith Bowman and featuring a packed line-up of Scottish stars.
With the help of Jill’s daughters, including actor Joanna van der Ham, and an army of volunteers, Masks for Scotland raised nearly £440,000 and made 600 deliveries across the country.
Prof Belch, who confirmed the campaign had reached its conclusion, said she had been overwhelmed by messages from grateful health workers. “Thanks to the generosity of all of our donors, we believe that this PPE will have helped save lives,” she said.
“Thanks to my three daughters it was a real family affair, I could not have done it without them.”
Joanna helped her mum set up the charity and the livesteam show, while Lucy took the role of chief packer. Janette van der Ham organised 600 deliveries amongst 40 drivers.
Jill added: “Our seven neighbours provided quality assurance checks of isolation gowns, while friends and all of the wonderful volunteers distributed PPE Scotland-wide.
“I wish we could share all the many hundreds of thank you emails we received. Here is one: ‘Thank you so much for doing this. It has made a massive difference in our GP Practice, so huge thanks to all. Really appreciated by us and our patients who themselves felt safer when they saw us protected. We cannot thank you enough.’
“Messages like these are such a huge reward for all this work.”
The online broadcast on April 22, featuring live music and poetry, raised £80,000. It was supported by, amongst others, James McAvoy, Peter Capaldi, Alan Cumming and Judy Murray.
An auction, dubbed For the Love of Scotland, made more than £24,000.
Support The Courier today.
The Courier is committed to delivering quality content to our communities and right now that’s more important than ever — which is why our key content is free. However, you can support us and access premium content by subscribing to The Courier from just £5.99 a month. Because Local Matters.Subscribe