ONE of the UK's best-loved actors has made a huge donation of vital personal protective equipment to staff at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

Screenwriter and activist Emma Thompson linked up with the Mail Force charity campaign to provide 5,000 protective aprons.

Emma, who has always split her time between London and the west of Scotland, is currently staying in Dunoon with her family.

When the Oscar-winner learned that Inverclyde was the area of the country worst-hit by coronavirus, she was determined to provide support.

In a video message to IRH staff, Ms Thompson said: "I am saluting you from lockdown with all my heart for your bravery, courage, determination and resilience.

"You are a beacon to everyone in the area.

"I send you my love and boundless admiration.

"The Daily Mail’s Mail Force charity is practical, useful and genuinely required.

"When they asked if I’d like my donation to go towards a particular place, I immediately thought of Inverclyde.

"The NHS expresses the best of us: a sense of social morality, mutual responsibility and care towards one another that as we see in this crisis, is the most important part of all our institutions.

"The only thing that stands between us and calamity in this crisis is the NHS.

"We’ve seen how valuable it is.

"It's important to not just clap but to also make sure we value it in a real and functional way - with more resources, funding and staff."

The 5,000 aprons will go towards building Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s reserve stock.

Dr Abby Gunn, lead clinician at IRH, said: "We’re a small but dedicated team in Inverclyde.

"The community is amazing here and patients and staff alike have banded together in these tough circumstances.

"We’re grateful to Emma for her kind donation and warm wishes."