Sharing the message of national support for the NHS and key workers

18 September 2020: The NHS Supply Chain team in Maidstone have found a very public way to share the message of national support for the NHS and key workers.

During the pandemic peak Unipart Logistics’ (UL) NHS Supply Chain sites across the country dealt with unprecedented demand for supplies of essential equipment and supplies.

The teams worked around the clock to rise to the challenge and ensure NHS Trusts across the country were supported as they dealt with the national pandemic. In turn, to show their support, children and family members of colleagues at many Unipart Logistics sites created colourful rainbow-themed pictures which have been displayed in DCs and offices across the business.

But in Maidstone the team took this one step further to share this message of support with the country at large.

Maidstone Transport Manager Angie Fowler explains, “We were working our socks off to get the goods out to hospitals. It was actually the wife of our Transport Supervisor Andy Lindsey who suggested it would be nice to see one of the rainbow pictures on the side of one of our lorries”

The team run a fleet of 25 vehicles ranging from 3.5t vans to articulated vehicles. In August alone the Maidstone fleet covered over 90,000 miles, carrying out 1015 trips, delivering 4498 drops to healthcare providers, so the team knew this would be a great way to spread the message of support.

Angie continues, “We thought this was an amazing idea and discussed it with Close Brothers, who carry out the maintenance of our fleet. They agreed it would be a wonderful message, and after reviewing several of the pictures they selected one drawn by five year old Harper – who is actually my granddaughter!”

“It took a bit of time to get everything arranged, but we were thrilled that Aura Brand Solutions created the wrap for us free of charge as a gesture of goodwill.” The team were even able to get Harper and her mum to come and see the finished article that is now making its way to hospitals and healthcare providers across the South East region.

Sinead Ryan, Harper’s mum, said, “We asked Harper if she wanted to paint a rainbow to go in our window at home to show support for the NHS workers. Harper remembered that her Granny works with drivers who deliver all of the important goods to hospitals. She said she wanted to paint a really colourful rainbow for the drivers to brighten up their day.”

The newly branded lorry has been well received by the team on site. Driver Andy Grant said “It’s cheerful and happy. It’s a nice gesture to all of the staff working in hospitals and in patient care to say a huge ‘thank you’ from us. We may be delivering their products to them but they are on the front line.”

David Landy, UL’s NHS Supply Chain Fleet Manager said, “It’s wonderful to see so many vehicles out on the road showing the rainbow as support for our NHS but what makes this vehicle even more special is that it is an actual NHS vehicle directly supporting the front line. For us it is symbolic as it shows how proud our teams are to support the NHS and the crucial role that our network plays in this.”