June 17, 2024

UK construction firms lend support to NHS during coronavirus crisis

In these most challenging of times, UK construction businesses of all forms, shapes and sizes are displaying tremendous levels of support for the NHS as it comes under unprecedented strain. Here are just are few examples of that support in action…


Building contractor Pave Aways has donated vital equipment including respirators to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital in Shropshire to protect staff during the on-going coronavirus outbreak.

The firm handed over 50 respirators and boxes of hygiene gloves from its stores to the hospital this week.

Pave Aways has a long association with the hospital having completed a number of building projects at the Gobowen site including building the new main entrance, its records and archive building, hydropools and the drop-in operating theatres as well as refurbishing wards and more.

The firm made a decision to close down its sites during the government lockdown to protect the welfare of its staff, sub contractors and suppliers.

Managing Director Steven Owen said: “Having worked on a number of building projects in the healthcare sector and at this hospital in particular, our team has always known the value of the NHS and its staff. At this time, more than any other in recent history, they are continuing to deliver a high level of patient care in unprecedented circumstances.

“It was a small gesture on our behalf but one that we hope will make a difference to these healthcare heroes. We can’t thank them enough for what they are doing.”

Julie Roberts, Assistant Director of Nursing, at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital, said: “Thank you to the team at Pave Aways for this extremely kind gesture, which will not only help to support our staff but also protect them and our patients during this challenging time.”


In another display of support for the NHS, Keltbray, a leading UK specialist engineering and construction services business, is currently on site working on a Nightingale Hospital ExCel support project in conjunction with Lend Lease, Wilson James and the Royal Engineers.

This week the business has been working to prepare land and build a surface car park for circa 2,000 NHS cars, close to the Nightingale Hospital at ExCel, in order to support the NHS and the vital work they are doing. Keltbray had machines deployed by low loader transportation to the area on Sunday evening and had established a project team for work starting on Monday.


Meanwhile Wickford-based construction company, Lemon Groundwork Solutions, has donated 100 boxes, containing 1000 FFP3 protective masks to nearby Basildon Hospital and is calling for all UK-based firms in the trade to follow its example.

Chris Challacombe, Head of Operations at Lemon Groundwork Solutions, personally delivered the masks to staff at Basildon Hospital and said afterwards that he was told that personal protective equipment (PPE) is like “gold dust”.

Consequently, Mr Challacombe and his colleagues are urging construction companies the length and breadth of Britain to donate any personal protection equipment (PPE) they can spare.

Lemon Groundwork Solutions’ Managing Director, Paul Hart, says it is time for all firms to do whatever they can to support their local NHS trusts: “We made contact with Basildon Hospital last week after seeing Essex County Council’s urgent appeal for PPE. We sent an email to [email protected], notifying what stock we could spare and we were quickly put in touch with the hospital. The team at Basildon were over the moon with our donation and thanked us repeatedly during the handover, stating that the masks are like gold dust. They immediately ripped open the top case and were carrying handfuls of boxes into the clinical areas before Chris had even driven out of the car park!”

Chris Challacombe, Head of Operations at Lemon Groundwork Solutions

Mr Hart added: “FFP3 masks protect the wearer from solid and liquid aerosols, so they’re crucial in the fight against Covid-19, and I urge all construction companies across the UK to donate their PPE, especially businesses who conduct welding because they will use the top P3 masks.

“Lemon Groundwork Solutions, like the rest of the construction industry, is still open for business, but we are, of course, on significantly reduced trading and thus we can afford to donate a large quantity of our spare personal protective equipment. It’s time for everyone to join us and do their bit to help our NHS save lives.”