chesterfield news covid 19

Chamber explains how region’s businesses can support India during Covid-19 crisis

Businesses in the region are being encouraged to offer support where they can to India during its Covid-19 crisis.

With shortages of oxygen, hospital beds and medicine in Delhi, and many other cities in the world’s second-most populous country, due to a devastating second wave, there are specific urgent needs that could be plugged by East Midlands companies with access to those resources. They include:

  • Empty, refillable oxygen cylinders with between 10 litres and 45 litres liquid medical oxygen (LMO) capacity
  • Oxygen concentrators
  • In-situ oxygen manufacturing plants for hospitals
  • Remdesivir, an antiviral medication used in treating Covid-19

More than 200,000 people are reported to have died from coronavirus in India – although the real figure is believed to be much higher – with 3,293 deaths reported in the most recent 24-hour period.

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles has joined the rest of the British Chambers of Commerce network in launching an appeal, alongside the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and charity UNICEF, for the business community to support where possible.

He said: “Many of us will have seen the truly heart-breaking media reports showing the devastating impact of the second wave of Covid-19 in India.

“While the UK Government is considering how it will support with much-needed supplies, we believe the business community can step up in the meantime – just as we have rallied before in the battle against coronavirus.

“In our #EMComingTogether campaign launched at the beginning of the pandemic, in which we helped to link up companies with access to PPE to the local and national organisations that needed supplies, we were hugely inspired by the number of firms that came forward during a challenging period.

“Once again, we’re asking businesses to rally round and get behind the campaigns by UKIBC and UNICEF. There may well be companies within our region that are able to help source these crucial items that will save countless lives and enable India to get through this crisis.”

Anyone able to offer support with any of the urgent needs should explain how they can help by contacting the UKIBC at or UNICEF at

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Chesterfield says ‘we’re back’ for friendly local shopping

Chesterfield Borough Council and Destination Chesterfield are supporting the re-opening of the high streets this April with the message ‘we’re back’ to encourage shoppers back to Chesterfield’s high streets. Find out more at

The mini campaign includes a video on social media, featuring some of Chesterfield’s many independent businesses and market traders, asking people to come back shopping in Chesterfield. The video reminds people that safety is everything, but we do need to support our local high streets.

Councillor Kate Sarvent, cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: “It will be great to see the start of the re-opening of our town centre and high streets this April.

“It is however essential that we keep our own and everyone else’s safety in mind when we go back to shopping locally in Chesterfield to make sure our town centre stays open. I urge everyone to continue with hands, face and space as we start to re-open.

“Our local shops and retailers have worked so hard over lockdown, offering click and collect and delivery options but it has been a massive struggle for businesses and now it’s up to us to get back out shopping locally. Our businesses really need your support.

“Spending a few pounds a week with local businesses will make a massive difference to them. It’s been convenient to shop online but let’s do more of that with local businesses and also shop safely with them once again in our town centre and high streets.

“Chesterfield is a fantastic place to shop. We pride ourselves on being a friendly town, with many great independent businesses who are ready to welcome everyone back. So, come back and support your town this April.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield commented: “The lifting of restrictions on non-essential retail is very much welcomed and further progress in the high street’s journey towards normality. Seeing our favourite businesses adapt with online shopping and click and collect services during lockdown has been inspiring, but shopping in Chesterfield is an experience that can’t be replicated at home.

“Lockdown has shown us all the importance of the high street and the contribution it makes not only to the economy but to the lives of local people and I would encourage everyone to support the high street and shop local to help the many businesses based on it in their recovery.”

To also help support local businesses that are re-opening, and to showcase Chesterfield as a great place to visit, the council is offering local businesses the chance to take out free listings on the Visit Chesterfield website until 31 March 2022.

Independent businesses who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity can find more details on Businesses will need to complete an application form and send it along with high resolution images or videos to

Find out more about shopping in Chesterfield here.


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Chatsworth supplies hundreds of ready meals to the vaccination frontline

Chefs at the Chatsworth Estate have begun creating ready meals for distribution to Covid vaccination centres across Derbyshire, with hundreds of meals being delivered to frontline workers every week.

Hot food for hard working volunteers and staff includes Chatsworth favourites such as lasagne, macaroni cheese, cottage pie made with local beef, and mushroom and leek risotto among others.

Instead of preparing meals for visitors to Chatsworth, for the past few weeks chefs in the Carriage House Café kitchen have been cooking ready meals to provide vaccination staff working long hours with fuel for the fight against Covid. Chatsworth’s delivery drivers have been dropping off meals at destinations including Chesterfield Royal, St. Oswald’s in Ashbourne, Royal Derby and others among the county’s 24 vaccination centres.

Derbyshire has shown that it is leading the nation’s vaccination roll-out – in one week recently, the country vaccinated the second highest proportion of eligible residents in the whole of England.

Chris Baily Jones, Head of Catering at Chatsworth: “The vaccination drive in Derbyshire and elsewhere is absolutely vital in making us all safe for a way out of lockdown. We’re determined to do our bit to support Derbyshire NHS and all the people working such long hours to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Ready meals for Derbyshire vaccination centres has been made possible with funding from Chatsworth Estate alongside personal contributions from a number of individuals at Chatsworth. The Devonshire Group community forum, which includes Chatsworth, is chaired by Lord Burlington, son of the Duke of Devonshire, and was set up at the start of the Covid pandemic to reach out and support local communities.

A large number of charitable organisations are supported by the Devonshire Group through donations of money, items and complimentary tickets, and by offering savings on commercial rates. In 2019, charitable giving across the Devonshire Group amounted to £334,452.

For more information on Chatsworth and the community, visit

Chatsworth supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Images supplied by the Chatsworth House Trust

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New Coronavirus testing centres to open in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire

Derbyshire County Council is set to open new covid-19 testing centres in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire this week.

One in 3 of those who have coronavirus do not have symptoms, so the testing is aimed at those who are still going out to work and mixing with colleagues or the public. The testing will identify people with COVID-19, enable support for those who have to self-isolate and drive infection rates down in the county.

Alongside the test people will be offered advice and help with financial support that they may be entitled to if they need to self-isolate and help to access wider benefits.

Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace said: “Although rates of those testing positive are coming down we need to do more to try and stop the chain of transmission.

“We know that many people are just not able to work from home so these new centres are aimed at those who have to go out to work and mix with colleagues and the public. It is this group of people who are at the most risk of getting the virus, and with one in 3 who do have the virus showing no symptoms they can easily pass it on to anyone they come in to contact with.

“Please if you are still going out to work come to your nearest centre weekly and get a test to protect your families, colleagues and community.

“It only takes a few minutes and will make such a difference. The quicker we can get on top of this virus the sooner our lives can start to return to normal.”

Other established methods of testing for people with symptoms will continue alongside community testing and people who have a high temperature, continuous cough or have lost their sense of small or taste should book a test online in the usual way.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said: “I’m pleased that we are now setting up these new centres.

“It has been a real team effort with colleagues from across the council getting involved to help.

“We’re also grateful to colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service who have helped move equipment round the county and helped to get things in place. Thanks also go to the district and borough councils who have helped in providing venues for us to use.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the fantastic support we have had from the RAF. They joined us just before Christmas and helped us get our Swadlincote sites set up. Thank you to you all.

“Getting a test doesn’t mean you can’t still catch the virus, so please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and wear a face covering unless you are exempt.”

Those attending are asked not to bring bags or other items with them that they don’t consider to be essential, but are asked to bring a fully charged smart phone if they have one. Parents or guardians are asked to accompany those aged 11 to 16.

The centre in Chesterfield will be at Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Boythorpe Road, Chesterfield and will open on Wednesday 10 February 2021.

North East Derbyshire’s centre will open on Friday 12 February 2021 and will be at Clay Cross Social Centre, Market Street, Clay Cross.

The Chesterfield and Clay Cross centres will open 7 days a week, 9am to 7pm. To find out what the demand is like at the centres when you want to go along, visit the Derbyshire COVID-19 test centre finder .

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Innovation enables The Sanitaryware Supplies Company to flourish during the pandemic

Chesterfield’s Sanitaryware Supplies Company has seen an upturn in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to an innovative hygiene solution which has helped in the fight against the virus.

The foot-operated hand sanitising station came about because the company was selling wall mounted one-litre sanitiser dispensers online, but were asked on a few occasions if it could provide a bulk product which could dispense both gel and foaming soap from larger containers.

Designers then took the product a step further by creating a “no touch solution” for use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The unit is operated by pressing a pedal at the front, which in turn dispenses liquid gel or foaming soap gel (at the choice of the customer) through an aluminium nozzle. All parts used on the units are supplied from local companies.

The design of the new sanitising station also means fewer changes of the liquid and a lockable unit which prevents the theft of hand washing gel.

Andy Dukelow, director at The Sanitaryware Supplies Company said: “As far as we are aware it is the only foot-operated dispenser on the market which can offer both types of dispensing (gel and foam). Also we have the only unit which is fully enclosed and lockable and can dispense 5,10 or 20 litre bulk-fill containers.”

The first sales of the new sanitising station were individual units to schools, factories and restaurants, followed by a national soap and gel manufacturer who wanted to take them into their portfolio to offer alongside their liquids.

Andy added: “We have since supplied them to schools, Amazon warehouses, cleaning companies, rail workshops amongst others and recently Chesterfield Football Club as a trial site for stadia.

“We have had good feedback from them and have already had enquiries for future units into local football clubs once crowds are allowed back in. In total we have sold over 150 units to date, starting in August 2020.

“We think that once we are out of lockdown, the sales will once again increase as we already have an enquiry for 500 units pending for another national company.

Sales of the new foot-operated sanitising stations, along with other projects such as new ‘Dado panels’ which are used on the inside of rail carriages, enabled the firm to achieve sales over and above those achieved in the same period of 2019 by 40%.

Andy said: “As part of our hygiene and handwashing portfolio we have supplied a large number of hygiene disposal units and scrub up troughs to the NHS, care homes and health centres as they increased their Covid compliance.

“We have also supplied wash troughs to schools, where under new guidance all schools should ensure pupils wash their hands before entering.”

The Sanitaryware Supplies Company supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Vaccination site at Casa Hotel now up and running

The first Covid-19 vaccinations at Chesterfield’s Casa Hotel have taken place this morning, with pharmacy-led teams moving to support the rollout across Derbyshire.

The new sites opened today have brought the total number of vaccination venues within the Derby and Derbyshire CCG area to 23, including six pharmacy-led sites, 15 GP-led sites, two hospital hubs and the vaccination centre at Derby Arena.

Casa Hotel in Chesterfield is using two connected function rooms and making good use of the hotel’s ample parking and excellent access. The hotel has the capability to vaccinate over 300 people per day

The site is run by Peak Pharmacy, but Head of Business Transformation Darryl Dethick explained that his team has had lots of help preparing for the start of vaccinations: “We’ve been working hard getting the hotel ready to receive patients, and the hotel staff have been great. Some of the hotel staff will even be helping us with admin on the day; this is a big team effort.

“We will have three vaccination pods and have had really good response from people making bookings. We’ll be vaccinating every day from Thursday through to Sunday to begin with.”

Casa Hotel owner Steve Perez said: “I am absolutely delighted we are able to help – it’s fantastic. It is a great example of hospitality business working with a local company and NHS to serve the community. We are excited to be part of this initiative and do our bit! We are ideally located with plenty of space, a dedicated car park and lots of staff who will be on hand to help with aspects such as marshalling. The more vaccination centres we can have in the region, the better – and the quicker we can get back to living our lives again”

steve perez honorary degree

Joe Cattee, director of family-owned Peak Pharmacy said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for community pharmacy to once again show another way in which it supports patients nationwide. As a business we have administered over 30,000 flu vaccinations this winter – as well as supporting patients with other services ranging from travel clinics through to reviews of newly-prescribed medicines. It therefore made sense that we should be actively involved in the national Covid -19 vaccination effort. We are thrilled to be coming together with another family-owned local business to start vaccinating the people of Derbyshire.”

Elsewhere in Derbyshire, St John’s Methodist Church in Allestree and Pinxton Village Hall have also started to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.

Each of the three new sites is led by a local pharmacy team but does not carry out vaccinations in the pharmacy itself. All vaccinations at these new sites require an appointment through the National Booking System.

Peak Pharmacy (PCT Healthcare) and Casa Hotel support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Joe Cattee, Peak Pharmacy

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Staff from Ashgate Hospicecare join vaccine rollout

Retail staff who are furloughed due to Ashgate Hospicecare’s charity shops being closed in lockdown have stepped forward to support the NHS with the vaccine rollout in North Derbyshire.

The partnership comes after the charity had  called on its staff and volunteers to come forward to help protect the local community and save lives.

Staff who volunteer will be assisting at the vaccination centres, ensuring smooth arrival onsite of those coming for vaccination, efficient patient flow to the clinical assessment and overall onsite safety and security.

Some 76 Ashgate Hospicecare staff are currently on furlough, and the charity said that they had the ideal skills to help with the rollout efforts.

Barbara-Anne, Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospicecare, confirmed that staff had begun volunteering at the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield and that the charity had received huge interest from furloughed employees.

She said: “We are incredibly proud that staff from Ashgate Hospicecare are volunteering their time to be at the forefront of the fight against this dreadful virus. They have helped to ensure that the sites are safe and that as many people as possible are able to receive the jab.

“They are making a real difference to the national effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Not only are they supporting members of the local community, but they are there to support our own frontline workers to receive their vaccine.

“How wonderful that our team can come together, supporting each other and the wider community.”

Paul Street, 60, is a driver for Ashgate’s Furniture shop at Hasland and was one of the first to volunteer. Last week he began supporting the vaccinations at the Winding Wheel.

Paul said: “Putting myself forward as a volunteer was an easy decision because I wanted to give something back and help get the world back to normal. We are living through a global crisis and it will take the actions of a lot of people to stop the spread of COVID-19, and we need
that to happen sooner rather than later.

“It is incredibly rewarding volunteering at the vaccination centre, supporting people to overcome the fear of needles or the vaccine itself. The best part is seeing those same people come out relieved and happy, realising there wasn’t anything to be afraid of.

“At the end of the day, I’d rather be out there doing something to help rather than sat at home doing nothing, it’s a great feeling knowing that you are there to put people’s minds at rest as they walk in and direct them to where they need to go.

“It means a lot to me that I am helping make a difference in stopping this virus.”

Last week the charity announced that it was supporting its NHS colleagues by deploying all available nursing staff to its inpatient unit in order to relieve pressure at the nearby Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Hayley Wardle, Director of Patient Care at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “It’s really important that we do everything we can to support our colleagues during this time of national crisis. Our staff on the frontline are helping to keep people out of hospital, whether that is providing
care on the ward or in a patient’s own home.

“It is heartening to see so many staff from right across Ashgate Hospicecare coming together to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

To date, the pandemic has already cost the charity £2.4 million in lost revenue with the current lockdown expected to cost an additional £350,000 in lost sales. To support Ashgate Hospicecare’s fight against COVID-19, go to:

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


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Winding Wheel one of seven new COVID-19 vaccination sites

Chesterfield’s iconic Winding Wheel theatre is becoming Derbyshire’s latest COVID-19 vaccination site today, continuing the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme across the county.

The site will begin vaccinations on Thursday morning, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it will be followed closely by a second Chesterfield vaccination site at Wheatbridge Surgery on Saturday.

The Chesterfield Borough Council-owned Winding Wheel becomes the tenth primary care vaccination site serving Derbyshire. It is the first of a new wave of openings, with six other sites also opening in the coming days.

The Winding Wheel is a Grade II listed building, built in 1923, and was previously the Picture House Cinema. It normally hosts a popular programme of arts and entertainments, but has been converted into a vaccination site through the hard work of teams from several organisations working together.

The Winding Wheel will initially only carry out vaccinations for healthcare workers, while patient vaccinations are carried out at the nearby Wheatbridge Surgery, ensuring Chesterfield is well provided. Some Chesterfield patients may also be offered appointments at Stubley Medical Practice in Dronfield, if that is more convenient for them.

This start of vaccinations at the Winding Wheel site marks the start of a new wave of openings, including the county’s most southerly vaccination site so far, in Swadlincote. The full list of this wave of openings is:

Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield
Wheatbridge Surgery, Chesterfield
Littlewick Medical Centre
Springs Health Centre, Clowne
Buxton Medical Practice
Shirebrook Sports Sports Hall
Oaklands Village Commmunity Centre, Swadlincote

Vaccinations at the Winding Wheel are being carried out by Chesterfield & Dronfield Primary Care Network (PCN), representing 12 GP practices. Vaccinations are all by appointment only.

People should not contact their GP about a vaccination unless asked to do so, and should not attend any vaccination site without an appointment.

Derby & Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is managing the rollout of the vaccine across the county, and CCG medical director Dr Steve Lloyd said the opening of the Winding Wheel was another big step forward.

The Winding Wheel is such a treasured and historic part of Chesterfield and I’m delighted that it is playing an important in this major vaccination programme.

Carrying out vaccinations at the Winding Wheel means we can provide this vital vaccine to the people of Chesterfield and its surrounding areas in a location well known to most people.

Teams from the PCN, Chesterfield Council and Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services and the CCG have all worked incredibly hard to get this vaccination site up and running, and I’m really proud of their efforts.

The contrast with the modern surrounds of Derby Arena, which opened just last week, demonstrates how flexible, thorough and determined our teams are to identify and prepare the most appropriate venues to reach as many patients as possible.

I’m also particularly pleased that we are beginning vaccinations in Swadlincote, which is our most southerly site yet and provides a vaccination site for communities of South Derbyshire.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out in Chesterfield. The use of The Winding Wheel Theatre, which the council owns and operates, as a local vaccination site is a huge step forward in our fight against the virus.

“We’ve been working closely with NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to support the roll out and ensure that The Winding Wheel Theatre is ready to receive health care workers for their vaccinations. At this time, Chesterfield residents will be invited to have their vaccination at another local venue, and I urge as many people as possible to come forward and get vaccinated.

“Although this is a huge step forward, we must all make sure we continue to follow the Government guidelines and protect our most vulnerable.”

Vaccinations will be rolled out to more sites over the coming days and weeks, as the vaccination programme continues to build momentum.

The first vaccinations in Derbyshire took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital on December 8th, followed by the county’s first vaccinations at a primary care site on December 18th at Stubley Medical Centre.

Festival of Remembrance

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Ashgate Hospicecare receives funding commitment from the CCG to safeguard jobs and end of life care

After months of negotiations, Ashgate Hospicecare and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have come to an agreement which will safeguard jobs and vital end-of-life care for the residents of North Derbyshire.

The charity, which employs over 300 paid staff, has secured a settlement to work in partnership with the CCG to help shape end-of-life care and plans for North Derbyshire. Staff have been informed that the hospice now will not have to make redundancies and cut services in the New Year as previously feared.

Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “We are delighted that the CCG has confirmed its commitment to Ashgate Hospicecare and to working together to deliver the best possible end-of-life care in North Derbyshire.
“It is such a huge relief to know that we will be able to provide the care our community needs both now and into the future. It will also ensure that we will be able to continue to see as many patients as we do now, and we are able to continue to offer the same high-quality care that our patients deserve.

“It has been an incredibly worrying time for staff, and we couldn’t have achieved this outcome without the support of our local community and healthcare colleagues who have spoken up for us. Hundreds of people campaigned on our behalf, they shone a light on Ashgate’s situation, which meant that our plight could not be ignored. What they have achieved collectively is nothing short of incredible.”

Like many charities, Ashgate Hospicecare has seen its income dramatically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in at least £2.4 million in lost revenue.

Barbara-Anne continues: “Of course, being a charity, our funding challenges never completely go away, and the 2021 outlook for fundraising and retail remains extremely challenging. However, we are more confident than ever that with the support of our community we will be able to weather this storm.”

Richard Chapman, Chief Finance Officer at NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Ashgate Hospice continues to be an important part of the health service provision in Derbyshire. We are pleased that the CCG, on behalf of the wider NHS system, has been able to work with the hospice over recent weeks to assure colleagues there of the value we place on the specialist services provided by their excellent staff.

“The agreement we have reached reflects the ongoing partnership we have with the hospice, and the role it plays working with us in shaping services that ensure excellent care is available to our population throughout their lives.”

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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