22 May 2020
Solihull’s town centre businesses have stepped up to aid the local community during the coronavirus crisis.
Swathes of businesses based in the town have donated cash, food, PPE and services to aid frontline workers and the vulnerable during the public health emergency.
Yakinori, a Birmingham-born independent, family owned Japanese restaurant brand, which opened in Touchwood in March, has been providing doctors, nurses, and other key workers from hospitals in the West Midlands with hot meals to say thank you for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yakinori has now re-opened for takeaway orders alongside another independent Touchwood eatery – Jamaya.
The multi-award-winning Jamaican restaurant provided 200 meals to NHS staff at Solihull Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital as part of the 'Meals for the NHS' project to feed our NHS heroes.
The hospitality industry is not the only one to have been hit hard by the lockdown and other sectors have pulled together to support the Solihull community.
BNP Paribas UK, which has its UK Personal Finance business located in the heart of Solihull, is providing £1million worth of support in the UK.
Stephen Hunt, CEO at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, said: "In such a short space of time, daily life has changed significantly for so many people.
“We hope this support package will offer relief and comfort to some of those people who are most in need across the West Midlands and the UK.”
One of the UK charities benefitting from this will be the Trussell Trust, which runs the largest network of foodbanks in the country and provides a lifeline for struggling families.
National Grid Ventures joined forces with University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) Charity to launch a special appeal to raise £1million.
National Grid Ventures kick-started the appeal with a £100,000 donation that was used to purchase almost 400 tablet computers for patients that allowed them to speak to their loved ones while in isolation. The tablets were distributed to wards across the Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Good Hope, Solihull and Nightingale Hospital.
Age UK Solihull set up an emergency food bank and delivered 3,000 emergency food parcels to older and vulnerable people. Town centre businesses including Solihull Summerfest, Sembcorp Energy and Paragon Bank chipped in with donations which has enabled Age UK to keep their essential services running.
Solihull School have helped to manufacture visors and other materials for the Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital and £5,600 was raised for Acorns Children's Hospice with an Old Silhillians virtual quiz.
Boots in Mell Square have set up a safe space for victims of domestic abuse. The scheme has been launched by the UK Says No More campaign in response to increased challenges faced by victims who are forced to isolate at home with perpetrators.
ESG Security, based on Warwick Road in Solihull town centre, are offering free Empty Property Inspections - are all accredited to British Standards - and Mobile Patrols to fellow town centre companies.
Solihull BID – the Business Improvement District for the town centre – have been supporting companies throughout the pandemic with the latest information on financial Government support.
Melanie Palmer, chief executive of Solihull BID, said: “Solihull has a heart of gold and the support listed above goes to show that we are working hard together to get through the crisis.
“I am so proud to be part of a town centre that shows it really cares in such generous and innovative ways.”
Pictured: NHS staff receive food from Yakinori