Isabel Oakeshott reveals she will “volunteer at school in any capacity during COVID-19”

In an exclusive interview with political journalist Isabel Oakeshott, she revealed that she would gladly volunteer in any capacity when schools reopen on 1 June.

Isabel is most well known for being the former Political Editor of the Sunday Times and co-author of the autobiography of David Cameron with Lord Ashcroft, ‘Call Me Dave.’

Ms Oakeshott said: “I am happy to be a cleaner, I am happy to marshal in the playgrounds, I will do anything because I think it is important to show that the children come first.”

Isabel later tweeted this remark to her 151,000 followers on Twitter.

Isabel also suggested that the attainment gap will widen if children miss out on further teaching “it’s alright for kids with nice houses, who have got the facilities and support for home schooling and have a nice garden.

“However, it’s not ok for children in deprived families, very dysfunctional households, they are being left to their own devices.”

She continued: “The sooner we can get kids back to school the better. However, we are not going to be able to guarantee that teachers aren’t at risk because that is the setting they work in.”

Full interview with Isabel Oakeshott

There are concerns over implementing the two metre social distancing in schools as it will be difficult for children to follow, especially at such a young age.

When asked whether social distancing would be possible to implement at schools, Isabel commented “I think it is silly to imagine you can keep small children apart and I think it is wrong to try to do so.”

Isabel mentioned the upsetting images of children in France which were released, showing children in chalked out squares in playgrounds.

She commented on this strict social distancing: “That is unsustainable, imagine the army like mentality to enforce that, this will be traumatic for children.”

However, there is uncertainty whether schools will re-open on the 1 June as many councils have said that they are against the planned reopening.

The planned reopening of schools from 1 June, will depend on the rate of virus transmission, in particularly ensuring the R number is at a low level.

Birmingham’s volunteers are helping to support the NHS frontline

Volunteer groups across the UK, calling themselves “For The Love Of Scrubs” have been set up nationally to source funds for sewing and distribution of essential NHS clothing. These scrubs, hats and other PPE are in short supply.

This comes after it has been revealed that NHS frontline workers can get through five pairs of scrubs in a single shift. Without the protective clothing nurses may put their families at risk when they return home from shifts.

Chanel Morrison-Jolley, coordinator of the Birmingham “For The Love of Scrubs” speaks frankly about her involvement in the Scrubs movement and why it is important to get involved.

Chanel Morrison-Jolley, coordinator of Birmingham’s “For The Love of Scrubs” Campaign

Chanel, inspired by the Facebook Group “For the Love of Scrubs- Our NHS needs you” was determined to do her bit in helping NHS front line workers “I found just staying at home wasn’t enough!”

She continued “I identified that Birmingham Trusts and CCG arms (GPs and medical practices) mostly were not benefiting from the national Scrubs group. Without hesitation I put myself forward to co-ordinate the Birmingham area.”

The NHS is in short supply of PPE clothing as 400,000 protective gowns from Turkey have finally arrived in the UK after a delayed arrival.

The Birmingham volunteer further highlighted the essential work the volunteer group was doing to assist the NHS frontline “we accept direct requests from hospitals, GPs, care homes, end of life centres, which are in need of Scrubs urgently.”

Scrubs produced by Birmingham’s volunteers

The group’s work is vital to provide essential NHS clothing, Chanel suggested this “we have a wealth of volunteers who can deliver, cut fabric, make scrubs and cut patterns.”

Donations for the Scrubs volunteer movement have been set up via online fundraising pages such as Birmingham’s JustGiving page.

In the short period of time since the Birmingham group’s establishment over £2,000 has already been donated.

Chanel, highlighted the urgency of these funds “we have over 350 scrub requests and 2,800 bag request waiting”.

These funds are crucial to ensure that as many NHS staff as possible can be protected and their lives saved in the Birmingham area.

If you can help in anyway to Birmingham’s Scrubs campaign, visit their JustGiving page.

Apprentice Winner Carina LePore “I am paying for staff Ubers during the COVID-19 outbreak”

Carina Lepore, owner of Artisan Dough Bakehouse recently won the 15th Series of the Apprentice, receiving Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment.

She became the most successful Apprentice Winner ever after winning nine out of ten tasks, never facing Lord Sugar in the boardroom.

However, no one would have predicted the turn of events that would happen after being hired as Lord Sugar’s latest Apprentice.

In an exclusive interview with the Apprentice Winner, she revealed how she is supporting her staff at Dough Artisan Bakehouse by paying for their Ubers during the outbreak so that they don’t use public transport.

Carina also revealed that the Bakehouse is remaining open during the outbreak, she said: “We made the decision to remain open, we have made it a takeaway service only, the only product that is being produced each day is bread.”

Carina emphasised that staff and customer safety was her highest priority, she added: “Social distancing measures are in place, we have arrows on the floor and only one customer in the shop at a time.”

Miss Lepore commented that her Bakehouse is keeping the community’s spirits going, she said: “Making people’s routines a little bit nicer.”

She makes this comment as people in the Herne Hill community in London visit the Bakehouse during their assigned daily walk.

The Apprentice Winner continued: “If we can make people smile with a fresh loaf of bread every day, then that is what we will continue to do.”

When asked about whether the government was doing enough to assist small businesses during the outbreak, Ms Lepore replied: “The furlough scheme and grants would help massively, it is still a really difficult time.”

This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced that the UK government will pay for 80% of wages for workers furloughed during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bakehouse owner suggested this a good time to start networking to support other businesses to get through this as well, she said: “We are all in it together, let’s reach out to like minded businesses, I reached out to other businesses myself.”