VISITOR pods have been provided to care homes across the UK thanks to a forward-thinking business in Warwickshire.
Exhibitions and events business Showplace, in Clifford Chambers near Stratford, provides modular stands, structures and trailers for exhibitions across the world.
When the pandemic struck last year, managing director Rob Goodman and his team turned their skills to designing, manufacturing and installing modular visitor pods at care homes.
The pods have so far allowed over 3,700 families to visit loved ones in care homes without risk of spreading the virus.
While the pods have not yet been introduced in Warwickshire, Rob is in talks with Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub to discuss the opportunity.
He said: “Events and exhibitions started to be cancelled from last February and we pursued a few avenues where our skills were transferrable such as Perspex screens before we came across the idea of modular pods for care homes.
“We are modular builders so we knew we could create portable buildings with comfortable interiors to help families visit their loved ones since covid-19 made it impossible to go inside care homes.
“The response has been incredible and it has brought a different focus to our staff because the feedback we have had has been heart-warming.
“We have facilitated visits for families who had not seen each other for months and we have helped around 3,750 families see their loved ones.
“The pandemic has meant we have had to pivot our business massively because the events industry has been closed and I think we will return to events but this is an avenue that will stay open as long as there continues to be a need from care homes.”
CWLEP spokesman Jim Clark added: “Showplace has totally re-invented itself in covid-19 and made a real difference to help families visit their relatives in care homes while following Government guidelines.
“The fact the pods can be used all-the-year-round whatever the weather has been a crucial factor in their success.
“I am going to be working with Rob to make introductions to representatives from the care home sector in Coventry and Warwickshire as well as organising a meeting with Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi so that Showplace can continue to go from strength to strength.”