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OBs supporting communities

26 Jul 2020

(L-R) OBs Patrick Grant, Tom Honeyman and Andrew Bartlett

The resilient nature of the Barney Community and, in particular, our Old Barnardians (OB) has stayed true throughout these unprecedented times.

Whilst the current global pandemic has meant we have had to cancel certain OB events this year, it hasn’t stopped some of our OBs from supporting communities through their work and expertise in the fight against COVID-19.

Old Barnardians Patrick Grant, Tom Honeyman and Andrew Bartlett are just three examples of people within our 5,000-strong network of former pupils living in more than 40 countries worldwide who are making an impact and contributing to reinvigorating the economy.

Patrick, judge of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, has been heavily involved in the making of hundreds of thousands of items of PPE since March through his clothing company, Cookson & Clegg. He has also led the campaign for the making of face coverings through the Big Community Sew.

Closer to home, Tom, who is managing director of The Honeyman Group, based on the outskirts of Barnard Castle, has been making waves in the processing of COVID-19 dual antibody tests.

His company is now able to process up to 3,000 antibody tests a day, with results in just 24 hours, in partnership with pharmaceutical giant, Quotient. The testing platform is believed to be the fastest and most reliable antibody test for the virus and The Honeyman Group is the only UK laboratory to provide both antibody and PCR sample turnaround in less than 24 hours, with collections throughout the UK and Ireland.

OB Andrew Bartlett, who recently won an award for his ‘ROAM’ app, and his business partner, Nick Danks, have teamed up with the Making Barney Brighter Together group to support local businesses ‘get open and stay open’. The pair are planning a re-launch for Barnard Castle, which will include social media marketing and a leaflet campaign, but are also keen to help businesses save money through their six-week business improvement programme.

Dot Jones, Secretary of the Old Barnardians, said: “We are proud of Patrick, Tom and Andrew, and we are also proud many other OBs, including those who work in the NHS, Armed Forces, Education, along with various other key worker roles and volunteers, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.”