Luxury tour bus company Vans For Bands has vowed to lend their entire fleet to NHS Hospitals for front-line workers to use during the coronavirus crisis.
In the absence of live tours during the pandemic, the Oxford company has offered that its vehicles to be parked outside NHS hospitals – allowing frontline workers to relax in comfort while still observing the 2m social distancing rule.
So far, their offer has been accepted by Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital in west London and the Whittington Health NHS Trust in north London.
Another bus is set to arrive at south London’s Lewisham Hospital in the next 48 hours.
Frank Turner, who has previously used the buses for his own tours, said: “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 The Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT) said: “We have a number of options of accommodation for staff and it’s great to be able to add the buses to our offer. A huge thanks to Vans for Bands for Hospital for stepping up with a unique solution that can be parked on site for staff to rest and relax in for a few hours.”
Vans For Bands director Ed Thomson added: “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.”
At the time of writing, coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 88,000 people across the globe.
The UK remains in lockdown, with citizens ordered to stay at home except to shop for food and medicine, for only one form of exercise per day, and to travel to and from essential workplaces.