At the peak of the Covid pandemic in April, organisations were finding it difficult to source personal protective equipment (PPE). Organisations that work with disabled people were hit particularly hard, including the third sector and care homes. Direct Access moved to Rhosrobin, Wrexham last month and set out to change that.
Improving Disabled Access
Established in Cheshire in 2004, Direct Access quickly grew into a leading accessibility consultancy advising organisations on improving access for disabled people. Faced with suspension from work as the lockdown bit and being approached by organisations for help, they used their connections to source and obtain gloves, masks and aprons for struggling local authorities and care homes in North Wales and further afield. During the first weeks of the pandemic, Direct Access delivered over one million items.
What makes Direct Access different is that each member of the team has a disability and buyers welcomed the social value in creating employment opportunities for disabled people. Each member had been out of work for at least two years before joining Direct Access.
The team have also created the Deaf Direct Mask, an innovative face covering that enables deaf and hard-of-hearing people to be able to lip-read the wearer.
Easy Access for Wrexham
Why Wrexham? Since September, Direct Access has been working with Community Housing Cymru to supply two million masks to housing associations, care and repair agencies and Cymorth Cymru members across the whole of Wales over the coming year. To support this, they moved to Rhosddu Industrial Estate in Rhosrobin where a team of disabled people receive orders, pick, stock, pack and ship to customers.
Local schools and care homes in Wrexham and Denbighshire have also benefited from easy access to a range of PPE and cleaning supplies with same or next-day services delivered by one of the Direct Access team. Face masks, aprons and gloves are currently in stock with face shields, hand sanitiser and larger volumes available one or two days after order. Trade and public enquiries are welcome.
“This is an exciting time for us at Direct Access – we are recruiting for three additional team members here in Wrexham. We are also opening our product range to Love Wrexham readers,” said Director Steven Mifsud. “The more orders we can fulfil, the more opportunities we can create for disabled people in Wales.”
Orders can be placed on the directaccess.store website for delivery or collected from Heritage House, Rhosddu Industrial Estate, Rhosrobin LL11 4YL; Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. Due to Covid, only card payments are accepted.