Opinion: It was all hands on deck in 2020

Steve Heeley – Managing Director at Polypipe Building Products – takes a look back at a unique year for the business:

It was supposed to be a year including sailing, celebrations, and a day at the races for Polypipe Building Products.

In fact 2020 was supposed to be a lot of different things to a lot of people but it didn’t quite work out that way.

It is the company’s 40th anniversary this year and arrangements were in advanced stages for a charity race day at Doncaster Racecourse and an extra special Polypipe Regatta on The Solent all in support of Help for Heroes. These, along with the best-laid plans of almost everyone else, were all shelved because of the Pandemic.

Instead of the expected plain sailing, Polypipe had to navigate choppy waters over the spring and summer but the teams in Doncaster certainly did their bit to help the community.

The Doncaster factory was still needed to provide products for the temporary NHS centres and staff were still supplying products for urgent maintenance and repair work – but they went further than was expected.

Polypipe donated half a tonne of polypropylene to students at Bradfield Technology College who manufactured tens of thousands of visors for health care workers.

Another 500 kilograms of polypropylene was donated to the Silverstone Technology Cluster to manufacture crucial supplies of equipment for frontline healthcare workers across Northamptonshire. The Silverstone site was crafting supplies that were then donated to care homes, hospitals and community services in Northamptonshire, and medical staff from the armed forces.

Polypipe delivered protective equipment kindly donated from Imperial Polythene Products Limited one of Polypipe’s suppliers, to the Doncaster South primary care network which covers 43 practices across Doncaster.

The company provided a van and driver for a Doncaster community group delivering hot meals to vulnerable people and donated £5,000 to buy laptops for local children who were home schooling.

Finally, the Doncaster -based company donated £5,000 for a hospital’s memorial ‘rainbow garden’. Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Rainbow Garden appeal was set up to establish memorial gardens in both Doncaster and Bassetlaw to remember those who lost their lives to Covid-19.

This was on top of renewing a three-year contract with Help for Heroes.

Polypipe so far has raised more than £100,000 for the ex-serviceman’s charity over the past three years and this money helps to fund various activities that Help for Heroes are involved with from recovery centres to home visits.

While everyone at Polypipe is proud of the contribution they made in 2020 – we are all hoping for calmer waters in 2021.

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