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Just the tonic: from gin to sanitiser

April 16 2020


Protecting the health and safety of the people we support and our staff has been Livability’s number one priority since the Covid-19 pandemic began. One result of this is we need at least triple the amount of alcohol-based hand sanitiser across all our services.

Sourcing sanitiser

Enter… Livability’s Quality Team, in charge of sourcing and supplying personal protection equipment (PPE) for the charity. With the huge surge in demand for hand sanitiser and all PPE, and Livability’s usual suppliers unable to increase their deliveries, the team was delighted when they were contacted by one of our North East services’ deputy managers, Michelle Earle.

Michelle, who managers Livability services that support over 40 disabled and vulnerable people, approached Summerhall Distillery, an Edinburgh gin distillery to see if they could supply hand sanitiser to our North East services. Yes, they could – and, when the Quality Team contacted them, again yes, they could supply the needs of the organisation nationally.

Bottles of help

‘Summerhall have supplied the sanitiser we need, which meets World Health Organisation standards, at a very competitive price, in a market where prices are doubling or tripling, because now the ingredients are having to be sourced from abroad,’ explains Charlie Light, PPE Lead for the Quality Team. ‘The distillery got our order onto the production line almost immediately, and deliveries got through to our services the next week, which was amazing. And they come in lovely gin bottles!’

Summerhall Distillery’s Head of Sales Dave Quinnell says the company refuses to profiteer on their sanitiser sales:

‘Our care provider customers, including Livability, are a huge resource that has to keep functioning to keep the country moving. If we can help in any small way to keep our carers and the people that they care for a little bit safer, then we are happy and proud to be doing our bit to help combat the virus.’

Praise to our key workers

The Quality Team is full of praise for the charity’s staff around the country: ‘What I notice is that staff are 100% living out our key values of being open, inclusive, enabling and most definitely courageous as they care for people who are shielding, vulnerable, or have suspected or confirmed Covid-19. Not only that, but services are doing all they can to maintain the best possible quality of life for people, organising all sorts of cheery things like karoke “zoom” sessions and remote birthday celebrations.’

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