A business only founded in 2017 to offer more sustainable laundry services to university students, now finds itself supporting NHS workers in the thick of the current Coronavirus epidemic.
Oxwash has switched its focus to supporting NHS frontline workers and the most vulnerable. The company will also be laundering the scrubs and uniforms that the study doctors, nurses and volunteers will be using to perform the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine trials.
Co-founders Kyle Grant (CEO) and Tom de Wilton (COO) are both alumni of Wadham College, Oxford, and both have also volunteered to participate in the Oxford vaccine trials, with Tom receiving his jab this week.
In the past few weeks, OXWASH has introduced contactless collections and enhanced sterilisation wash protocols to support the Oxfordshire NHS hospitals and GP practices with their laundry needs, as well as raising funds to offer 2,500 free washes to NHS workers and vulnerable individuals through a GoFundMe donation campaign, which as we run this story has raised more than £13,000 of a target £25,000.
Kyle said: “Our NHS frontline workers are superheroes, but even superheroes need to do laundry. By doing the laundry for the vaccine team, and by donating 2,500 free service washes to frontline workers, we will be able to collect, launder, disinfect and deliver their garments and scrubs, and make things that bit easier for them as they do their incredible work under such tough circumstances. We have the facilities and the team – we just need the financial support to make this happen.”
Oxwash was founded in 2017 by Dr Kyle Grant, born out of frustration from the perpetually broken washing machine in his college laundry.
With just a bike and a backpack, Kyle collected and washed clothes for fellow students, and the business grew fast.
The laundry’s aim is to achieve zero net carbon emissions for the whole process, including collection and delivery. This has never yet been achieved anywhere in the world.
The company, which is being supported by the Oxford Foundry – part of the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School which supports students in bringing their entrepreneurial ideas to commercialisation, is now looking for contacts within Oxfordshire NHS GP Practices, hospitals and hubs who would benefit from this COVID-19 response laundry service.
It is also seeking expert guidance to help roll this out across Oxford and London to support different NHS Trusts and expert contacts within the viral sterilisation and deep cleaning space to support Oxwash in its COVID-19 Innovate UK grant application.