Coronavirus has driven demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) to unprecedented levels. With supply chains under pressure, healthcare services across Europe have not been able to access essential PPE through the usual channels.

We recognise and celebrate the exceptional effort and personal sacrifices of healthcare workers across Europe, and we are pleased that we can support them with PPE donations.

In particular, we are focussing on getting face masks, coveralls, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser to the frontline workers. We are committed to supporting local communities and we have prioritised the areas closest to our branches and distribution centres.

We hope in that in some way we have helped to keep people on the front line a little bit safer as a result of our donations, while keeping the wheels turning for critical industries, right across Europe.

Martin Thomsen, Group CEO, said: “We are determined to do everything we can to support the healthcare services across Europe in the fight against coronavirus and I’m extremely proud of my colleagues who have been working hard to get vital PPE to the people and places that need it most. We remain ready to help in any way we can.”

Here, we summarise the efforts of colleagues in our six largest markets.

Benelux has provided thousands of masks to branches in Venlo, Utrecht, Enschede, Sliedrecht in the Netherlands and Waregem in Belgium. Our colleagues in those locations will deliver the masks to the institutions of their choice.

France has arranged for its branches to donate face masks to local pharmacies, nursing homes and clinics. Distribution centres have been donating masks to local hospitals including Roubaix and Compiègne.

Germany is donating thousands of masks, allocated to each region, with local teams taking the decision about which hospitals will receive the donations.

Iberia is donating face masks, gloves, coveralls and safety glasses to the hospitals closest to its PPE warehouses, located in Bilbao and Girona. The fabric workshop in La Rioja has donated textiles to produce gowns for hospitals in the area.

Italy has donated masks to the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo and to the Associazione con Andrea (Association with the aim of supporting works of charity, health care and education) in Gavirate.

The UK has created ‘grab bags’ of essential PPE that colleagues can take and give to friends or relatives who work for the national health service.

We continue to support the fight against coronavirus in all of our markets, supplementing our commitment to donate PPE with support for government-backed projects to produce other essential equipment including medical ventilators and visors.