Like so many other companies, FIS distributor member Penlaw took the Government’s advice last Monday and closed its doors and furloughed its staff for the duration. All that changed when John Gray, manager at Penlaw’s Fixing Centre in Greenwich, received a call from a customer Bexhill Drylining specialist which had been selected to work on the conversion of the Excel Exhibition centre into the Nightingale Hospital.

It took a few well timed calls from John to get this moving in the right direction.

Supply Chain Director Paul Scott said: “We quickly made the decision that because of the importance of the project and the fact that our branch was close to the site, it made sense to spring into action. The branch team, drivers and I were taken off furlough to bring together the required materials.

We worked closely with FIS members Hadley Group and British Gypsum to ensure the site was supplied, no mean feat as the project went from the original 500 planned beds to a massive 4,000. Contractor Bexhill Group also brought in support from PWB Drylining to get the job done.

Just to add the can-do spirit of all involved has been inspirational and just goes to show what we can achieve when everyone works together for a common cause.”

Paul Scott reported that this effort was replicated by Penlaw Sydenham, who supplied MASC Constructions conversion of offices to wards in Maidstone Hospital as part of Kent’s emergency plans.