Footscray Business Enterprise transformed into PPE distribution centre
DATE: 17 September 2020
Yooralla’s Business Enterprise has been transformed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, now acting as the main distribution centre of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all Yooralla sites.
In March when the first stage of lockdown commenced, the need for PPE was only required at Yooralla’s residential sites. However, as the pandemic progressed, so too did the amount of PPE needed.
A small, but incredibly efficient team was created to support the ordering and distribution of PPE to all Yooralla sites, at Yooralla’s Business Enterprise in Footscray.
Darren Wright, who pre-pandemic worked as a Business Analyst at our Collins Street office, has been leading the team at Footscray and has been “loving the challenge”.
The hardworking team at the factory includes Sylvia Dermody, site coordinator at Footscray, Riken Patel, workshop supervisor and Ali Ibrahim, the delivery driver. Jess Hollingworth, Collins Street office manager, has also been working tirelessly to source and purchase the vital supplies. Andrew Nankivell was also initially involved in the set up of the distribution centre.
At the start of the pandemic, the cool room on site (previously used to keep the Easter eggs packed by the team at the Business Enterprise) was used to house supplies, however due to the volume of stock required, supplies are now being housed in the main shed.
“The main supplies that we house and distribute at Footscray are gloves, masks and gowns. This has grown now to include anything that is being distributed to sites, such as floor stickers and safety posters,” Darren said.
“Initially, services were struggling to buy supplies due to panic buying habits. We have supplies of hand towel, toilet paper, sanitiser, detergents and disinfectants so services don’t have to worry about supplies, just about providing services to customers,” he said.
Sites now operate on a fortnightly ordering system, using specially designed order forms to ensure they have the necessary supplies.
“It’s vital to ensure stock is available at all times and that we keep on top of demand to make sure that we are getting the supplies out to the services. People’s health is at risk if we don’t get them what they need.”
Safety is a big priority within the team, with strict physical distancing and cleaning protocols in place as they pick and pack the orders. These orders are then distributed to sites using the Yooralla catering vans, with the catering team unable to operate during the pandemic.
“The team we have out here is absolutely amazing,” Darren said.
“Nothing is too hard for the team, we all work together and work any challenge out to find a solution,” he said.
“It is just amazing, no one complains, everyone works together. I am grateful to be able to contribute and do my part,” Darren said.