Southside businessman helps with PPE

James Wong donates personal protective equipment to NHS.

With personal protective equipment in high demand across the NHS, Southside BID chair James Wong has helped to donate more than £14,000 worth of supplies to local health care professionals.

Following a fundraising campaign for the people of Wuhan by the Overseas Chinese Association in February, James helped to source vital disposable protective wear and began the process of shipping to China. However, with the pandemic evolving across the globe since the fundraiser, James and his fellow committee members chose to donate 2,000 N95 face masks and 1,000 coveralls to Public Health England based at Birmingham City Council.

As soon as the outbreak began in China, the Overseas Chinese Association started fundraising and hosted a special gala event attended by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and several other dignitaries, to fund the much-needed supplies and shipping. With items sourced from all across the world and ready to ship overseas, James then took advice from the Chinese Embassy and decided that the remaining stock was needed in the UK as much as anywhere in the world.

Commenting on the donation, James said: “Myself, Tom Li and Wendy Choi from the Overseas Chinese Association started fundraising to show support for the people of Wuhan and to help them through a severe crisis. PPE was in such short supply in Asia so we sourced as much as we could from anywhere we could find it.

“The pandemic has grown and spread so quickly, that it soon became clear that we no longer needed to ship the goods to China and that the NHS here in Birmingham would benefit from our supplies. I approached Cllr Ian Ward and he introduced me to Dr Justin Varney, director of public health. We then delivered several pallets of PPE to the NHS Trust at Lancaster Circus, which included thousands of masks and coveralls.

“It’s important that everyone does what that they can to help the country get through this unique and challenging situation. We’re proud that our fundraising will help local people here in Birmingham, but everyone can help just by following government advice.”

To see how else Southside BID is helping and supporting local businesses and residents, visit