People Powered is a collective of freelancers from across the entertainment and live event industries who came together to help the NHS and other frontline services after their diaries emptied because of the coronavirus.

The organisation was started by two lighting designers, Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon, who wrote an open letter to the NHS about how we could help relieve pressure on services and aid with flattening the curve. You can read it here.

Since then, our 1000+ members have been busy across the country using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure and producing live shows to provide structures and spaces quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing.

We’re helping the NHS with communications tools, structures, and spaces for staff with the aim of lifting the load so they can flatten the curve.

Ways we are #heretohelp

We currently provide quick, efficient support across four key areas: radios and comms; food banks and staff shops; rest areas; and structures to increase capacity/create testing pop-ups.

RADIOS

Walkie-talkie radios allow staff to communicate between COVID and non-COVID spaces about treatment plans, and this reduces the amount of PPE staff require and provides real, tangible help.

We’ve so far sourced 3000+ walkie-talkie radios and placed them with hospitals across the country at: Homerton, Lewisham, Barts, NW University Hospital, the Royal London, Great Ormond Street, Taunton and Somerset hospital, the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and 10 midwifery units across the West Midlands, including the Royal Wolverhampton, University Hospitals Birmingham, Sandwell and West Birmingham and Walsall Manor. 

We have a dedicated radios team—if you think they could be of use to you, get in touch help@peoplepowereduk.org

FOOD BANKS & STAFF SHOPS

Easy access to food and supplies for key workers is vital. We’ve set up free shops at the Royal Free Hospital and sourced additional fridges and freezers which allow NHS staff to pick up essentials and fresh food and veg without facing the supermarkets and potentially empty shelves.

We’ve also supported events catering companies in repurposing into food banks, by providing them with queuing systems to maintain social distancing.

If you’ve got a project like this, let us know help@peoplepowereduk.org

REST AREAS

When every spare inch of hospital space is being utilised to expand capacity, creating breakout areas to give doctors, nurses, porters, and cleaners a place to take a moment to themselves is incredibly important.

Inventive solutions are often required: we placed a tour bus at Lewisham hospital to create a break zone for hardworking NHS staff and converted a gym into a rest area.

Need something like this? We can help help@peoplepowereduk.org

STRUCTURES

Increasing capacity has been key to meeting need and our team has built and arranged structures to help, including a triage and isolation unit at Stoke Mandeville, marquees for queuing at Kingston hospital, and a pop-up testing station in Kent.

Often, we can deliver structures much more quickly than traditional contractors, including building over a weekend or out-of-hours, with teams compliant with regulations including CDM.

Our dedicated structures team can help—email them to discuss your needs help@peoplepowereduk.org