Masks Save Heroes, Science Beats Virus

by Masks & Science Campaign Team in London, England, United Kingdom

Masks Save Heroes, Science Beats Virus

Total raised £5,301

raised so far

+ est. £436.50 Gift Aid



With your help, we can provide PPE to frontline workers, and support COVID-19 related scientific research at Imperial College London.

by Masks & Science Campaign Team in London, England, United Kingdom

Working together with Imperial College London, this fundraising campaign will provide PPE to NHS staff and key workers and support scientific research in vaccine development, virus testing and modelling of transmission.






2020.08.14: Total donations of over 21,500 masks!

As of 14 August, our campaign has made donations to the following organisations:

Imperial College London: 5,000 masks

Made in Hackney: 1,000 masks
Crossroads Care Richmond & Kingston: 2,000 masks
TAG Youth Club: 1,000 masks
Richmond AID: 1,000 masks
Ruils Charity: 2,000 masks
Greenwood Centre: 1,000 masks

JS Medical Practice: 4550 masks
Elysium Healthcare (covers 18 care homes): 3300 masks
High Road Medical Practice: 250 masks
Stratford Medical Practice: 250 masks
St Anns Surgery: 50 masks
Spur Road Surgery: 100 masks

Your donations meant so much, thank you!

1590265920_%E5%BE%AE%E4%BF%A1%E5%9B%BE%E7%89%87_20200523213126.jpg ↑ Medical practices and care homes received our masks donations


With your help, what we can do


We buy masks to protect heroes:

  • NHS staff and key workers are fighting on the frontline against COVID-19, and they desperately need PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to protect themselves, the people they look after and their loved ones. They are our heroes and you can help them!
  • Part of the donation will be used to buy PPE for frontline workers, including NHS staff, volunteers and key workers at care homes, postal services, public transport, supermarkets and more.
  • We are planning to buy PPE [i] including face masks, visors, surgical gowns, gloves, and hand sanitiser.
  • We have already taken action: 21,000 masks from reputable suppliers are on the way to the frontline to help our heroes. More PPE is needed to protect our heroes. 




We support science to beat virus:

Science is the key to our ultimate victory over COVID-19. Part of the donation will go towards supporting scientific research on COVID-19 at Imperial College London. Your donation will speed up the crucial research projects at Imperial College London that need urgent funding, including:

  • Vaccine Development: Prof Robin Shattock is racing to bring a much-needed COVID-19 vaccine that can be mass produced to clinical trials, production and use by the public. If the trials are successful, vaccines enough for millions of people could be produced by winter 2020. Extra funding is urgently needed to expand the phase I, II and III clinical trials, as well as to prepare for mass production of the vaccine.
  • Public Health Policy Advice: Prof Neil Ferguson, “the virus modeller who sounded the alarm”, is developing accurate epidemic models to help the UK government to make better decisions, including when and how to lift the lockdown.
  • Diagnostics and Testing: Prof Chris Toumazou is developing a fast, accurate, low-cost, easy-to-use, lab-free test method for COVID-19 that enables testing at home and delivery of results in just over an hour.
  • Therapies: Prof Xiaoning Xu and his collaborators are developing an antibody-based therapy to treat COVID-19 infections and save lives of infected patients.

Your donation will help to accelerate these projects that could save many lives, and eventually end this pandemic, bring our lives back to normal.



© Imperial College London


Your help matters

“This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us.” 

-- Her Majesty the Queen in her special broadcast to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus outbreak on 05 Apr 2020

This is an urgent appeal. The time to act is NOW. Your financial contribution, no matter how small, will help to buy more PPE and accelerate scientific research on COVID-19. With your kind help, together we can protect our heroes and support our science. Together we can save many lives which may include our loved ones and ourselves. Eventually, together we can end this COVID-19 pandemic and bring our lives back to normal. In the years to come, we shall take pride in how we responded to this challenge together today. 


Thank you!


Please select Gift Aid when you donate 

Gift Aid is a government scheme for UK charities to reclaim the tax you have paid and gain 25% more at no cost or hassle to you. Please tick the “Gift aid this pledge” box when you donate, and by doing so we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra. Detailed terms and conditions of Gift Aid can be on the page where you make the donation. 

Please share this

Please share this page to your family, friends, colleagues and others, so they can join us and make a difference. Stand together, and we can save many lives. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much!


Who we are

We are a group of volunteers from all walks of life, from scientist to financial practitioner to artists. We believe that we can do something to help our carers and scientists -- saving more lives!



General Enquiries Email: [email protected]

Official Twitter: @MSHSBV

Official Facebook: @mshsbv

Official Instagram: @mshsbvteam

Official LinkedIn: Masks Save Heroes Science Beats Virus

How we set our goals

At the initial stage of our fundraising campaign, we aim to raise £50,000. We plan to use up to £15,000 to buy PPE for NHS staff and key workers. The rest will go towards supporting scientific research on COVID-19 at Imperial College London.

Upon achieving the initial goal of £50,000, we will stretch our target to a higher number. The extra funding will be used to extend our procurement of PPE for frontline workers, and to support the scientific research on COVID-19 at Imperial College London and potentially other institutions.


Acknowledgments & Partnerships

The “Masks Save Heroes, Science Beats Virus” Team is working together with Imperial College London on this fundraising campaign to help frontline workers and to support scientific research on COVID-19. We would like to thank Imperial College London for providing us with scientific advice and supporting us in many aspects of this fundraising campaign.



The appendices contain in detail the reasons we started this fundraising campaign. In specific, why we donate PPE and other equipment to NHS staff and key workers, and why we support scientific research on COVID-19.


Appendix A:  Why we started this fundraising campaign

“We’ve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation.” – Boris Johnson

“Coronavirus is a national emergency.” -- Keir Starmer 

By the day this campaign is launched (19 Apr 2020), 39 days after the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, approximately 1/4 population on the earth is in lockdown. The number of confirmed cases has exceeded 2.3 million internationally, with the global death toll past 163,000. The confirmed cases and death toll in the UK have reached 121,168 and 16,060 respectively [ii]. The COVID-19 pandemic has become the “worst public health crisis for a generation”.

We are a group of ordinary people, just like everyone who is reading this. We are scientific researchers, financial practitioners, artists and analysts who are affected by and concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak. We feel that we should do something to help in this global combat against COVID-19, especially in the UK. We believe that two of the most crucial things we can do is to help our NHS staff and key workers, and to support our scientists. We need your help to do this together. Hence, we launched this fundraising campaign and call it “Masks Save Heroes, Science Beats Virus”. 


Appendix B: Why and how we buy PPE to protect our heroes?

"Doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals want to do the best in this pandemic and we want to look after our patients and support people who are ill but not having the correct or the best protective gear puts us and patients at risk. It's very disheartening when you hear of colleagues talking about the way that they feel they are like cannon fodder, sent out to die." -- Dr Frances Mair [iii] 

Doctors, nurses and other NHS staff need sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from not only contracting COVID-19, but also passing COVID-19 to other patients and colleagues. The NHS staff are the foundation of our defence against the raging COVID-19, we shall not let them work day and night on the frontline without enough protection, like soldiers sent into war without amour. 


Image from [Telegraph]: 3 nurses in the UK forced to wear trash bags instead of real protective gear have tested positive for the coronavirus [iv]

Apart from NHS staff, other key workers, including people who work in care homes, pharmacies, supermarkets, public transport, postal services - all need PPE. While most of us are staying at home, it is their bravery and diligent work that keeps our society running. 

According to a recent survey done by the British Medical Association, more than half of the doctors working in high-risk environments said there were either shortages or no supply at all of adequate face masks, while 65% said they did not have access to eye protection. Furthermore, 55% said they felt pressurised to work in a high-risk area despite not having adequate PPE [v].

By April 13th, 21 transport workers have died from Covid-19, confirmed by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan [vi]. 


Image from [The Sun]: Hero transport workers killed on frontline by coronavirus include four devoted dads as heartbroken families pay tribute [vii]

In this campaign, we plan to use part of the money raised to purchase PPE and other equipment, and donate them to the NHS staff and other key workers in need.

  • We provide PPE to frontline workers including NHS staff, and key workers  who work in social care, local councils, care homes, pharmacies, supermarkets, public transport, and postal services. 
  • PPE we plan to buy includes face masks, visors, surgical gowns, gloves and hand sanitizer.
  • We purchase the PPE from reputable suppliers in the global supply chains. We do not compete with the purchasing programmes of the UK government and we hope that our efforts can assist the work of the UK government in procurement and distribution of PPE.
  • We have already taken action: 21,000 masks from reputable suppliers are already on the way to the frontline to help our heroes. More PPE is needed by our heroes to protect themselves, the people they look after and their loved ones.

This is an urgent appeal. Your kind donation, no matter how small, will help us to buy more PPE for our invaluable NHS staff and key workers. They fight around the clock to protect and save lives, and keep our society running. They are our heroes, and you can help to protect them. 

To help our heroes, is to help every one of us.


Appendix C: Why and how we help scientists to beat the virus

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” -- Marie Curie

In our war against Covid-19, the scientists are also working 24/7 to understand the nature of COVID-19 and how we could fight it. Scientific progress is being made at an astonishing pace [viii]. “Scientific researchers are at the forefront of efforts to advise the public and policymakers, understand the disease, develop new vaccines and create new diagnostic tests. [ix]” “More than ever, it is the scientific response that will be crucial in determining the future of this pandemic. [x]”

In this fundraising campaign, we plan to use part of the fund raised to support scientific research on COVID-19. In particular, we work together with Imperial College London (Imperial) to provide financial support to vital projects at Imperial that tackle COVID-19.


© Imperial College London

Imperial has an outstanding track record in the fight against infection and it is the home to one of the largest infection research groupings in Europe today. As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, Imperial is playing a leading role in the global effort to respond to the outbreak. 

Our fundraising team is working together with Imperial. We are in discussion with the experts at Imperial on how your donation can be best used to help tackle COVID-19.

Here we present a list of critical research areas and projects at Imperial that may potentially benefit from your donation, in specific, what the research projects are, why they are important and what impact your donation may generate.


Critical Area 1 - Vaccine Development

“Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission” -- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Head of the World Health Organisation [xi]

“We have the potential to have up to five million doses of vaccine available by the winter at a cost of £10 - 15 million... We have the potential to be in the clinic by June but have spent the last two months lobbying for funding.” -- Professor Robin Shattock, Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial


In the Department of Infectious Disease, Professor Robin Shattock and his colleagues are racing to bring a much-needed COVID-19 vaccine to the public. The team has already developed a candidate vaccine, which they achieved within just 14 days of getting the sequence from China. Once ready, this vaccine should require a much smaller dosage than traditional vaccines for other diseases, making it easier to deliver at a population level. The team is currently testing the vaccine in animal trials but need urgent funding to move to human trials.

A vaccine is the ultimate weapon that we can use to end this COVID-19 pandemic. In Professor Robin Shattock’s team, the current pressing needs are to cover unrestricted vaccine funding to enable advances to be made towards clinical trials. Philanthropists are beginning to cover the costs of Phase I and II trials, but additional funding is needed to ensure these trials are as comprehensive and well prepared as possible.

If everything goes as expected, the team could be in a position to produce millions of doses of the vaccine by the winter of 2020. This will be enough to protect the more vulnerable against that much-talked-about – and feared – potential second wave of infections [xii].


Critical Area 2 - Public Health Policy Advice and Epidemiology

“We follow the science” - Health Secretary Matt Hancock[xiii]

Within Imperial's School of Public Health, Professor Neil Ferguson leads the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) and MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC GIDA). His team has helped to shape the UK government’s response to COVID-19 through mathematical models of transmission. Their 16 Mar 2020 report predicted that Britain was on course to lose 250,000 people during the coronavirus epidemic unless stringent measures were taken. This report led UK governments to move to stricter social distancing policies including the countrywide lockdown.  

Professor Ferguson was described by the Financial Times as “a virus modeller sounds the alarm”[xiv].


Image: Prof Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist advising the government, speaking via video link to the science and technology committee of the House of Commons.

After the lockdown measure was announced and implemented on 23 Mar 2020, the infection rate of COVID-19 in the UK has fallen sharply as predicted by the model of Professor Neil Ferguson’s team. Currently, Professor Neil Ferguson’s team is continuing the work on the modelling of COVID-19 transmission and advising the UK government on the strategies for containing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Better research in epidemiology and mathematical modelling of COVID-19 leads to better policymaking by the UK government on critical issues like when and how to impose and lift the lockdown.


Flattening the curve: The report highlights suppression strategy scenarios for the UK showing intensive care unit (ICU) bed requirements. The black line shows the unmitigated epidemic. Green shows a suppression strategy incorporating closure of schools and universities, case isolation and population-wide social distancing beginning in late March 2020. The orange line shows a containment strategy incorporating case isolation, household quarantine and population-wide social distancing. The red line is the estimated surge ICU bed capacity in the UK. The blue shading shows the 5-month period in which these interventions are assumed to remain in place. (B) shows the same data as in panel (A) but zoomed in on the lower levels of the graph. (Source: WHO collaborating Centre / MRC GIDA / J-IDEA)


Critical Area 3 - Diagnostics and testing

“Our key message is: test, test, test.” - World Health Organisation head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [xv]

Engineers, scientists and clinicians across several teams at Imperial are working together to help accelerate diagnostics, so that cases of COVID-19 can be quickly identified, isolated and treated, and more information on the disease can be gathered. 

Imperial’s Professor Chris Toumazou has developed a working prototype of a point-of-care COVID-19 test called “DnaNudge COVID-19 RNA test” which requires no lab or special training to use, and can significantly reducing waits for results. This test is based on based on Professor Toumazou’s DnaNudge consumer DNA testing innovation. 

The evaluation, which began in recent days, will now involve large-scale clinical testing with a view to extensive national roll-out, as part of the drive to meet the UK government’s testing targets. The Department of Health and Social Care has procured 10,000 DnaNudge COVID-19 RNA testing cartridges to roll out to clinical sites. The Department of Health’s COVID-19 Testing Strategy cited the work as among “Encouraging innovators that are producing promising new types of tests”.



© Imperial College London

A key advantage of DnaNudge’s solution is that the RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test requires no sample handling and is able to deliver processing outside of a laboratory environment – using DnaNudge’s patented and miniaturised “NudgeBox” analyser, which can be used anywhere. This technology allows testing of COVID-19 at home for those who are vulnerable and for healthcare and other key workers. By bringing the test directly to the patient, rather than having patients attend medical facilities for screening, this technology can reduce the risk of transmission to health workers and alleviates the pressure on health systems.

With results delivered in a little over an hour, the technology has the potential to offer a substantial improvement on current lab-based PCR testing times – which take at least 1-2 days before a patient can receive the results. The swab can be placed directly into the cartridge and then straight into the box for analysis.

Professor Chris Toumazou’s team is looking for GBP 1 million to ensure this important new COVID-19 test can be brought to market quickly.


Critical Area 4 – Therapies

Our researchers are also improving clinical understanding of COVID-19 and developing therapies to treat it. A team led by Professor Xiaoning Xu has already identified antibodies that bind to coronaviruses and, in collaboration with scientists from China, aims to use these antibodies to develop a potential treatment for a coronavirus infection, including COVID-19. Professor Peter Openshaw from the National Heart and Lung Institute is investigating why some patients become severely ill while others have only mild symptoms, while Professor Wendy Barclay is pioneering work into how respiratory viruses like influenza spread and is spear-heading efforts to apply this knowledge to coronavirus.


Cover Photo: © Life Science Alley, Flicker

[i] The concept of PPE we use in this document includes face masks, visors, surgical gowns, gloves, and hand sanitiser.

[ii] Source [JHU]:

[iii] Source [BBC]:]

[iv] Source [Telegraph]:

[v] Source [BMA]:]

[vi] Source [Evening Standard]:

[vii] Source [The Sun]:

[viii] Source:

[ix] Source: Professor Jonathan Weber, Dean of Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London

[x] Source [BBC Horizon]: Coronavirus Special Part 1

[xi] Source [World Health Organisation]:

[xii] Source [Daily Mail]:

[xiii] Source [Independent]:]

[xiv] Source [Financial Times]:]

[xv] Source [BBC]:

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