Australian footwear manufacturer Bata has put its best foot forward with a hefty donation of shoes for healthcare workers fighting Covid19.
The initiative is part of Bata’s global effort in providing one million pairs of shoes to healthcare workers, volunteers and their families.
Bata’s Mornington-based headquarters and production plant has made footwear available free of charge for healthcare and aged care workers.
Bata managing director Jon Moore says it is so important to show appreciation for those on the medical front line. “Our footwear is technically designed for healthcare workers and we have made available 7,000 pairs of shoes for our healthcare heroes, he said, “So far we have given away more than 1,500 pairs, which means there are another 5,500 pairs available. It’s the least we can do.”
So far the main benefactors have been healthcare workers from the peninsula’s hospitals and aged care facilities and the offer has now been relayed to administrators at all metro, regional hospitals and aged care facilities throughout Victoria.
Frontline healthcare workers who wish take part in the offer need to visit Bata‘s Mornington outlet at 1158 Nepean Highway between 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and 9 to 2 on Saturday and show ID. Due to the unprecedented demand and maintaining social distancing the waiting time has been up to 2½ hours.
The Australian donation is valued at $500,000 and figures show that there are more than 75,000 registered nurses in Victoria.
Internationally, Bata has produced facemasks, face shields and protective equipment (PPE) for countries as diverse as India, Bangladesh, Columbia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Chile and Peru as well as donated food, funds and hygienic products through the Bata Children’s Program and the Bata Shoe Foundation.
Bata has been producing shoes in Australia since 1961. First established in Seaford, Victoria the company relocated in 1981 to Mornington. In February 2018 the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Bata Group’s manufacturing plant, and in his own words was ‘inspired by their passion for technology and the role it was playing in supporting jobs in our manufacturing sector’.
“The generosity of local businesses, such as Bata Shoes, in recognition of the role of healthcare workers has been tremendous.” says Helen Cooper, Chief Operating Officer, Peninsula Health. “Our hardworking team spend a lot of time on their feet, so a new pair of work shoes is invaluable.”