Harnessing the power of music and combining it with community spirit to deliver luxury accommodation to the doorstep of NHS workers. That’s the recipe of success for Vans for Bands who have provided North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, the first in the region, with a state of the art sleeper bus for its staff.
The vehicle will be housed on site as an alternative accommodation for clinicians who are looking for a convenient place to stay at the end of their shift, or somewhere to relax on their breaks.
In an unprecedented move supported by musician Frank Turner and comedian and writer Adam Kay. UK music industry luxury vehicle company, Vans For Bands is offering its entire fleet to NHS hospitals for front-line staff to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oxford based company, which runs a fleet of sleeper buses that are primarily used by artist and bands for touring the UK and Europe, has offered its luxury vehicles to be parked outside NHS hospitals anywhere in the UK for the duration of the current crisis.
Doctors, nurses and other key staff will be offered exclusive 24-hour access to sleep and relax in the sumptuous surroundings. Usually only experienced by rockstars, whilst still observing the 2m social distancing rule. The idea is to provide spaces for health workers to rest. Taking stock during their rest break or at the end of each shift.
The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge and Whittington Health NHS Trust in north London have also taken advantage of the offer with sleeper buses already parked up on site. With Lewisham Hospital in south London following close behind.
Vans For Bands who are subsidising the project have launched a JustGiving page in order help facilitate their offer. The aim of crowdfunding in this way is to cover only the costs of keeping the fleet on site at the hospitals. This is a non-profit making scheme.
Tour of the Vans for Bands tour bus
– With the NHS rising to the challenge of COVID-19, we’re thrilled with the amazing support that’s been seen across the country.
– Vans for Bands, a bus company more used to touring around Europe with rock stars, has provided this amazing vehicle.
– It will be used for staff breaks and even catching up on some sleep if needed.
Mick gives us a tour of the state-of-the-art bus
Hi, my name is Mick and I work for a company called Vans for Bands. This is one of our tour buses. Our company is based in Oxford – we drove up here to the hospital today for it to be used for the hospital staff. So I’ll give you a little look around. Have a little tour.
So, welcome aboard. Please come in and have a little look. This is downstairs lounge and kitchen area.
We’ve got a nice seating area and table if you want to sit and have some food. Through there is the cab. So, all the comforts of home.
Kettle and coffee machine, which is just behind you. We have also got TVs downstairs and an xbox and there is another lounge upstairs which I can show you now, which has got the same facilities.
So, let’s take a look upstairs.
Upstairs we have 16 beds – 16 small bunkbeds. Which are quite comfortable and then right infront of the bus, we’ve got another lounge area here at the front. With a TV and another games console here too.
All the comforts of home for staff to enjoy and have a bit of a relaxing time.
Ed Thomson, director and co-owner of Vans For Bands, says:
“The social gathering restrictions brought about by COVID-19 have completely decimated the live music industry. Resulting in our entire fleet being off hire and returned to our yard. We are very happy to be able to offer our tour buses to NHS hospitals anywhere in the UK. For the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. As a place for doctors, nurses and support staff to take a rest or sleep in at the end of or during their extended shifts. We feel it’s only right that we all do everything we can to support our NHS.”
Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt says:
“In these bleak days, it’s been truly heartwarming to see such an outpouring of love for the NHS. This is a wonderful example of a business stepping up to support frontline staff. I know so many doctors and nurses who have been struggling to find accommodation or somewhere to relax during their shift breaks. This will make a huge difference.”
Singer-songwriter and voice of his generation Frank Turner says:
“I’m happy and proud to see my friends at Vans For Bands putting their fleet to good use in this trying time. I have spent years of my life sleeping on these buses all around the UK and Europe. Now they can be used to help the amazing frontline NHS staff during the crisis. Who are working hard and taking risks for us all.”
A spokesperson for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said:
“As a leading healthcare provider, we absolutely embrace innovation and new ways of working, now more than ever. When Vans For Bands got in touch to offer this alternative accommodation for our hard working staff, we jumped at the chance. Some of our staff have a really long commute. We want to ease the burden where ever we can, especially in the current circumstances. A big thanks to Vans For Bands for making this happen!”
A spokesperson for NTH Solutions, the Trust’s provider of estates and facilities services said:
“The luxury sleeper bus is in very safe hands with our security and cleaning teams. Working closely with Vans for Bands. We’ll be making sure that it’s always on point so that our hardworking staff can fully relax and recharge.”