Freelance group offers support to NHS

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    Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has praised an initiative by technical freelancers working in the entertainment industry to offer their “immense pool of experience and skills” to the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

    The creative workers, including technicians and engineers, have offered to use their building skills to help the NHS make temporary wards and operating theatres as intensive care units reach capacity.

    An open letter drafted by freelance lighting designers Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon from the People Powered group and signed by over six hundred people committed “engineers, electricians, lifters and shifters” to help transform NHS hospitals making preparations for an unprecedented influx of patients suffering from COVID-19.

    The letter, published on Twitter, reads: “Our entire industry has stopped this week, so that the UK population can slow the progress of the coronavirus.

    “We freelancers are staying at home, and will continue to do so unless you ask some of us to be of service.  We’ve got the skills that could help relieve pressure for the NHS.

    “In our industry, we are used to transforming a place for one purpose into a place that can be used for another purpose … We are experienced professionals that can do so safely, quickly and effectively.  We have the capability to make a difference by using our immense pool of experience and skills to help you.”

    The offer drew praise in the Scottish parliament from Sturgeon, who said the government needs to figure out the best way to “harness all the good will”.

    “We need to set up a central point to collate all this so nobody’s offers of kindness and help are falling through the cracks,” she added.

    The full letter can be found here.

    7th April 2020.