Disaster response team supporting Weston school with Covid tests

RE:ACT volunteers

Volunteers from RE:ACT disaster response team helping with tests at Baytree School. - Credit: RE:ACT

A disaster relief charity is helping a Weston school to offer rapid coronavirus testing to staff. 

RE:ACT Disaster Response has helped Baytree School to set up a testing centre to enable all staff to receive Covid-19 tests twice a week. 

Baytree, in Highlands Lane, caters for pupils with highly complex physical needs and learning difficulties and as a result, the school requires a high ratio of staff. 

Regular testing has provided the team with significant reassurance that they are not unknowingly passing the virus on to pupils. 

Headteacher Ed Bowen-Roberts said: “With the help and support from the volunteers of RE:ACT, we successfully opened a testing site for all Baytree staff.

"We were also able to extend the testing offer to include our cleaning, catering, facilities and the home to school drivers and passenger assistants. 

“This has ensured that all individuals who support our children and young people are being routinely tested.  

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“Led by two of Baytree Schools amazing health care assistants, the volunteers from RE:ACT have supported with ensuring the smooth operation of the systematic testing programme.  

“Without the support from RE:ACT, we would not have had the capacity to ensure all staff and identified individuals received their routine testing, which has gone a significant way to reassure the school community.” 

RE:ACT volunteer at Baytree School

Volunteers from RE:ACT disaster response team carrying out coronavirus tests at Baytree School. - Credit: RE:ACT

RE:ACT – predominately made up of veterans - has been at the forefront of the coronavirus response effort, working closely with the British Red Cross, the NHS and charities and local councils. 

Mark Bradshaw, from Weston, who is leading the team at Baytree School, has previously helped with disaster relief in Haiti, after Hurricane Matthew, and the Caribbean islands, after Hurricane Irma.  

He said: “Our history is international disaster response but with the outbreak of Covid we recognised the massive need was going to be domestic. 

“Veterans have been given the opportunity to step back up and continue to serve. The volunteers have been amazing. They are also getting a lot out of it. 

“They may have been furloughed, or work may have declined, so it means they are able to do something really worthwhile.” 

Any veterans interested in volunteering, can get in touch by logging on to re-act.org.uk 

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