Some may say that airsofters are an insular group that are only really interested in their "guns n’ gear" but sometimes in the most dire circumstances the "community" we all talk so glibly about pulls together to do something truly remarkable and thoroughly inspiring!
We’ve been following the growth of the "
NHS Covid-19 Action Group" here in the UK on Facebook, a group started by airsofters to show support to those at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 in a very tangible way, a group that is now bringing in non-airsofters to "do their bit" too!
Airsoft Action spoke to Tish from MidWales Airsoft to find out exactly how things have developed and this is what she told us:
"Tishy at MidWales Airsoft here; this is how the NHS Covid-19 Action Group came about and how the UK airsoft community came to my aid.
Last week I was speaking to one of our MidWales players who is one of the many nurses looking after the Coronavirus patients. She told me that because patients can’t have visitors, they had realised that they had no toiletries, also that there is a shortage of PPE. She told me of her worries as an NHS frontline staff member which nearly bought me to tears. I knew I was in a position to help so decided to do something.
I set up the NHS Covid-19 Action Group page and invited my friends and family. It soon filled with airsofters and offers of help, it started to get busy so I enrolled Dan Batcup from Dirty Dragons airsoft team in Cardiff to help admin the page. Soon after Ian Lawrence, owner of the Lincolnshire airsoft group, came into help. He’s been able to connect with the ambulance service and has been coordinating for Leeds and Hull too. The two of them have been invaluable and continue doing a fantastic job.
Ian has gathered 10+ people doing 3D printing for visors. Dan is manning the page, and Tim, who also owns MidWales airsoft, has been 3D printing and laminating. Also Daniel Atkins from Star (Sabre Tactical Airsoft Range) is taking in eye pro, he’s in Plymouth. We’ve also got Bill Whitmore-Ryan from Expendibellies airsoft team in Kent coordinating for the South East area.
The page is now 500 members strong and has had over £300 in money donations, and both are still growing; we had a few hundred people join in just 48 hours a few days ago!
We are being asked for help from nurses, G.P practices, pharmacies and carers for visors. I have been able to coordinate people to collect toiletries for different wards at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff and put people in touch with each other for services needed.
The page has been non-stop for the past 48 hours, and it’s now spread from the airsoft community it originated with into the wider public community; we even had a donation from an online gamer for £150!
The offers to help from the airsoft community have been humbling, which proves once again that in a time when they can help, they will pull together. I can’t thank them enough for their support."
Our thanks go to Tish fro sharing this story with us, and wherever you may be reading this please head to the NHS COVID-19 ACTION GROUP on Facebook to pledge your support, and be a part of something that is bigger than any one of us!