STAFF from Bradford’s outdoor education centres, Nell Bank, Ingleborough Hall and Buckden House, are all working together to support the district’s Covid-19 test centre at Marley Fields.

The centre in Keighley has so far tested more than 2,000 health and social care staff from across Bradford district and Craven. Half of these tests have been given to staff who work in care homes across the region.

The drive-through facility has proved an important way to support frontline workers with minimum travelling. Having launched in mid-April, testing at the site is now available for to all frontline health and care staff in Bradford district and Craven, including those working in care homes.

It also tests police and fire service teams.

Teams who would normally be working with children on outdoor education are now helping with the administration and booking arrangements for key workers from the council, care homes, and home care providers who need testing for Covid-19.

Their work has meant the capacity for testing has risen from 80 to 200 tests a day as a result.

Over the last few weeks meeting rooms within Nell Bank in Ilkley and Ingleborough Hall, which would normally be full of children on day or residential outdoor education visits, have been set up as administration and advice hubs.

Outdoor tutors and Instructors have been trained to manage the systems and between the Ingleborough Hall site and Nell Bank sites, this service to the district’s key workers is being rolled out seven days a week.

Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, at Bradford Council said: “We’re very proud that our outdoor centres are able to assist the incredible effort that is being made across our district to support the keyworkers and front line staff.

“It’s another example of how so many of our staff are working in different roles to help our community response to the pandemic.”

Dan Goodey, Head of Centre at Nell bank, said: “For the staff at the centres this is something completely different and a new challenge that they have really embraced. Normally at this time of year they would be taking children into the outdoors to take part in all sorts of activities from pond dipping, den building, and bear hunts at Nell Bank, to climbing and caving at Ingleborough Hall.”

Lee Paskin, Head of Ingleborough and Buckden, added: “It is great that we’ve been able to adapt our buildings so we can support the community and our exceptional keyworkers through this very challenging time.”