Entertainment industry mobilizes to support NHS
Friday, 3 April 2020
peoplepoweredOne of People Powered UK's first projects involved sending radios into four hospitals
UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and production team joining forces with others across the industry to make a real difference - I know we are in extremely safe hands with all of their expertise at the helm."
JD Bracknell, of People Powered adds: “Anyone who’s been to a festival understands the scale of those operations, and as the people who build them, we didn’t want to sit twiddling our thumbs or eating crisps in front of the TV. We’re all driven by just wanting to help our friends, partners, family members and colleagues in the NHS.”
The organisation is currently building structures that will be used for triage and isolation units at the Stoke Mandeville hospital and also plans to deliver more infrastructure at High Wycombe, Kingston, and Birmingham and Solihull hospitals.
Members have also sourced over 3,000 walkie-talkie radios for Homerton, Lewisham, Barts and Croydon hospitals, to allow medics to safely communicate from areas with infected patients. More trusts will be supplied over the coming days, including Royal London, Imperial, Guys, UCLH and Royal Free. People Powered UK is also providing tour buses to hospitals, transformed into staff rest areas.
The project has taken root in Scotland and Australia, with dedicated teams now up and running.
To get involved, visit: peoplepowereduk.org or follow @peoplepowered20 on Twitter.
(LSi Online)

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