Falmouth’s Covid Kindness Shines Through

By Falmouth Business Improvement District - 11th May 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to look after our health, both mental and physical. That is exactly why a number of Falmouth-based businesses are pivoting or simply adapting the way they operate to help keep the community healthy, connected and stocked up with any supplies they might need.

Some examples of businesses working towards the greater good include Abacus and Falmouth Taxis Ltd, who is offering a free prescription delivery service for the elderly and vulnerable who might be in financial distress. Reynolds and Slater Opticians is open by appointment for urgent and emergency eyecare and spectacles on the NHS, and privately, throughout the crisis. Keeping spirits high and people feeling good about themselves, Zebra Finch Hairdressers has gone online to deliver a host of engaging hairdressing tutorials demonstrating how to keep your locks looking good in lockdown.

In celebration of National Gardening Week, the children of key workers who attend King Charles and St Francis School received a growing pack from Jacqui Owen, the Visitor and Community Engagement Officer at Falmouth Town Council. The seeds and compost were kindly provided by Falmouth Cultural Services and the pots to grow them in from Cormac. Social distancing was observed at all times during the handover process. Seeds have also been delivered to community hub, the Dracaena Centre, to be included in the weekly food parcels that the centre is delivering to people of the community for recipients to get out there and reap the wellbeing benefits of a bit of green-fingered fun.

In addition to this, there are a number of Falmouth-based firms that are pivoting to make vital PPE and scrubs for healthcare workers, including the inception of CoVisor - a collaboration of local engineers and entrepreneurs. Led by Sam Lanyon, whose work has been featured all over the world, from BBC’s Dragon’s Den to international tech magazines, the group has formed to mass-produce face shields in Cornwall to help protect as many healthcare workers against COVID-19 as possible. Its efforts have also already raised over £15,000 toward the scheme.

Sam, who owns Concept Shed, decided to join forces with product design and development company Dufort Associates in Wadebridge to mass manufacturer reusable face shields to donate to hospitals in Cornwall and provide at cost price to other healthcare organisations. Within two weeks of starting production, CoVisor had supplied thousands of visors across the UK, become an official supplier to an Ambulance Trust, had its design approved by a number of other NHS Trusts and provided everyone from midwifes to undertakers with PPE.  To donate to the cause, visit: covisor.org

Falmouth lifeboat crew member, Nick Head, has not only been saving lives on the water throughout the pandemic, but has also been working with a cutting machine usually used for sails to cut cloth for making scrubs for health workers. If that does not keep him busy enough, he has also created the fun #PassThePager video and creative mini campaign. #PassThePager strives to raise awareness of the fact that the RNLI volunteer crew remain on call 24/7 ready to save lives at sea but urging all to do their bit by staying at home to save lives. It can be viewed here.

Popular Falmouth restaurant, MINE, run by Angus Bell and Katy Mulheir has re-opened its kitchen as a social not-for-profit project to bring nourishing chef-cooked meals to the people of Falmouth. The couple have been very busy cooking delicious dishes which can be delivered to homes or paid forward to an NHS worker or vulnerable person. They are working closely with local authorities and charities to deliver meals where most needed including to the elderly and families who have to rely on foodbanks. After a couple of weeks of trial and error, the team has also decided to recently open to the public for Saturday brunch and Sunday lunch whilst cooking for the vulnerable and the NHS throughout the week. Find out about the Crowdfunder the team has set up here.

Owner of Zebra Hinch Hairdressers, Zeb Luke Gethen said, “People in Falmouth have a can-do attitude and it's great to be able to play my part. I felt I wanted to do what I could to try and help people feel better about themselves during lockdown and learn some new techniques for making the best of their hair. We all have more time on our hands than ever before so it’s the perfect moment to start experimenting with styling and changing up your daily routine. I look forward to seeing some great hair dos when the lockdown is lifted!”

Other useful community initiatives that are keeping everyone engaged and spirits up at the moment include HelpFal, started by local people, for local people. Helpfal is a brilliant new platform, created by Falmouth resident Emma Trelawny and designed by local design agency, Kingdom & Sparrow, that collates a host of useful information for residents of the town during the crisis and will hopefully make peoples’ lives easier during lockdown. It can be accessed via: www.helpfal.com.

Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) manager, Richard Wilcox said, “We are very proud to be part of such a resourceful community and continue to be blown away by the kindness and innovation that all are showing during these unprecedented times. What many businesses, organisations and groups are doing during this time to help others is truly remarkable. We at Falmouth BID are keen to know ways in which we can practically be supporting businesses during this difficult time and encourage businesses to get in touch with us with their news.”

We are very proud to be part of such a resourceful community and continue to be blown away by the kindness and innovation that all are showing during these unprecedented times. What many businesses, organisations and groups are doing during this time to help others is truly remarkable.

Richard Wilcox, Falmouth Business Improvement District
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