Free facial coverings for bus drivers, one woman’s mission to help make a difference

Over the last eight weeks, Tina Wilson founder of the Wingman matchmaking app, has given more than 1000 facial coverings to bus drivers, free of charge, across 12 bus routes, five garages, operated by three different bus companies. Her action is a direct response to being so outraged that drivers and controllers are not being given any form of facial covering by their employers yet they are still being expected to turn up to work every day, whilst suffering and dying from Covid19 in disproportionately high numbers. Tina is ready to give more wherever they are needed and is urging drivers across the UK to get in touch if they would like to be sent one.

Leading the initiative, Tina Wilson, founder of the Wingman app, said: “Really it’s the responsibility of the companies who operate the bus services to give their drivers facial coverings, not mine, but I can’t sit back and do nothing while people are quite literally dying. It is shocking that eight weeks into lockdown these people are being called “Heroes” by those in charge yet are not being given anything to cover their face, it makes no sense. It’s an outrage and I can only hope that the message It’s not about you which is on the front of the bandanas reminds people to keep their distance from our beloved drivers; also the controllers who are getting on and off multiple buses each day regularly coming into close proximity with members of the public who, they tell me, are not practicing social distancing.”

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with drivers sharing their thanks and views. All have requested anonymity for fear of any backlash from their employers:

“We saw you are providing bus drivers with bandana’s and we could really use them, anything would help if you could send.” – bus driver.

“My wife works for NHS, and so I know there aren’t enough masks for them, so I feel bad taking one. But the bandana would be great – and I am happy to donate too.” – bus driver.

“It’s lifted a lot of people’s spirits because it shows that somebody cares. I’m here doing the job as a controller a former driver, if I’m at a point where if I don’t have any drivers I can’t do my job, and the people who run the garages are roughing people up by not giving them what they need.” – bus controller.

Tina Wilson insists no bus drivers should have to pay for personal face coverings and is sending them for free to those who email contact@wingmanapp.com Friends, family and passengers of drivers can be sent one by making a donation to the Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ClapForOurCarers and forwarding the confirmation email to contact@wingmanapp.com while stocks last.

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