25 staff from Pennys assemble 400 care packages for workers

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A TEAM of 25 staff from Penneys in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre assembled 400 care packages for frontline staff in Tallaght University Hospital earlier this month, in a show of support for the healthcare workers who are at the coalface of the coronavirus outbreak.

On the morning of Saturday, April 11, a team of 20 sales assistants and five managers spent five hours putting together care packages for healthcare staff, all while maintaining social distancing, after volunteering to do so when a manager put a post up online asking staff would they be interested in taking part.

Penneys 1 compressor

Staff from Pennys in Liffey Valley

“It was the company’s decision for stores across all countries [that Penneys and Primark operate in] to send care packages to local hospitals,” explained Jen O’Neill from Firhouse, who is a department manager in the Liffey Valley store.

“My store manager put a post up on a Facebook page for staff asking for volunteers, and there was no hesitation from staff about volunteering for it – the post got a huge reaction and we picked the first 20 people who commented on the post.”

The team put together 220 care packages for male healthcare workers, containing cotton pyjama bottoms, a white t-shirt, boxers, socks and face wipes, while 180 were for female healthcare workers, containing cotton pyjamas, black leggings, a white t-shirt, face wipes, bobbins and underwear.

“We were all standing apart and there were gloves and masks for everyone when we were putting the packages together,” said Ms O’Neill.

“The colleagues had sets of ten bags to do at a time and they were lined along the shop floor, and we all wrote little thank you letters on each of the care packages for the staff.

“The day itself was quite emotional, as we all hadn’t seen each other in a while, but it brought us closer together.

“It was great, everyone was in such a good mood.”

Staff from Clondalkin Builders Providers volunteered to deliver the care packages and they brought the four pallets of packages to the hospital for the hard-working staff.

Ms O’Neill added: “We’re all so proud to say we work for Penneys, and to be part of giving back to frontline workers.”

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