Coronavirus heroes include a wedding dress maker now producing NHS scrubs

CMG Technologies directors Rachel Garrett and Phil Marsh Picture: CMG TECHNOLOGIES

CMG Technologies directors Rachel Garrett and Phil Marsh Picture: CMG TECHNOLOGIES - Credit: Archant

When you think of coronavirus key workers doctors and nurses spring to mind – but in Suffolk they range from a wedding dress maker helping the NHS to companies keeping supermarket shelves stocked.

ANGLIAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2009; International Trade category - Morrison Freight; Picture contributed

ANGLIAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2009; International Trade category - Morrison Freight; Picture contributed 9/11/09 - Credit: Archant

Among Suffolk’s key workers are the staff at Morrison Freight, a freight forwarders based in Great Blakenham.

Director Darren Ryan said the pandemic has reinforced the importance of being able to move goods around the country.

He said: “Freight forwarding isn’t an obvious hero when it comes to key worker status,” he said. “We are not saving lives in intensive care departments or staffing supermarket checkouts to make sure people are fed.

“But we are currently playing a key role in keeping shelves stocked, medicines moving internationally and throughout the UK and the supply chain of goods operational.

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“Those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating are all playing a valuable part in ensuring the continuity of goods we need are being delivered. Without all these elements, our country would grind to a standstill.”

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Another Suffolk firm playing a vital role is CMG Technologies.

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The manufacturing company in Rendlesham makes complex metal objects.

The plant – which already manufactures 40,000 scalpels a month for the NHS – is now also producing critical parts for ventilators.

Rachel Garrett, managing director, said: “During this time of crisis, we are delighted to be able to offer our expertise and join the combined effort to help the country beat the pandemic.

“We are proud to be able to respond to the government’s call for help meeting the enormous demand for ventilation equipment – equipment that will save lives.

“We are working to push quality product through the system as quickly as possible while diligently following official government guidelines in relation to workplace health – taking care of our staff, clients and supply chain.

“Key workers come in all shapes and sizes and work in a diverse range of sectors. These are exceptional times and there are lots of companies working behind the scenes to help the country while it’s in crisis.”

Some businesses have adapted to help the national fight.

Find all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Among them is Clare Perkins, who until recently ran Silk Rose Bespoke in Woodbridge, has ditched wedding dresses to make scrubs for frontline NHS workers.

She said: “I was struck by news that many hospital staff in the UK haven’t got access to basic protective gear as supplies have run short.

“I can use my skills at a time when I cannot work as I normally would in helping the wonderful NHS staff have access to much needed Scrubs to wear. These need to be made to strict NHS design and fabric guidelines.

“I used to make wedding dresses so this is quite a change – but quite honestly it’s as much of a privilege to provide a nurse with clothing that will protect her as it is to dress a bride for her big day.”

Miss Perkins is also the Woodbridge Co-ordinator for the group making scrubs for the local hospitals and care homes.

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