AN APPEAL is being issued to the builders merchant sector across Cheshire to provide much-needed personal protective equipment to NHS staff.

With supply chain pressures affecting the ability of healthcare professionals to source the equipment, national trade body the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is co-ordinating a response across its membership.

They are appealing for merchant members to donate items, including visors and safety glasses, in a bid to tackle the shortages.

The move is part of a national initiative co-ordinated by the Construction Leadership Council, a body of trade associations in the industry working directly with the government during the pandemic.

There are 710 businesses in the BMF's membership, with combined annual sales of more than £32 billion – operating from more than 5,450 branches nationwide including Cheshire.

John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF, said his trade body are in the perfect position to provide assistance.

"The unique nature of the BMF network puts them in pole position to support this initiative," said Mr Newcomb.

"At the moment we are assessing what stock levels are in place through our merchants.

"We will then work with the relevant supply chain, through the initiative, to get any items we receive to healthcare professionals.

"These are unprecedented times, but we can work together to pull through."