A Leamington-based distiller is using its expertise in handcrafted gin to make hand sanitiser for frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Warwickshire Gin Company produced 4,000 litres of sanitiser on the first day of production and it will be made available exclusively to care homes and key workers on the frontline.
After getting the go-ahead from HMRC, the business had labels made up and started producing the new product in their distillery.
The distiller is using the World Health Organisation’s recommended formula for the sanitiser – which uses the same base alcohol that is used in creating its artisan gins.
It is appealing to companies in the region for any stock of bottles to dispense the sanitiser, with stock from regular suppliers depleted across the UK.
Dave Blick, director at Warwickshire Gin Company, expects his business could produce up to 60,000 litres of sanitiser over the next 12 months.
He has also set-up a crowdfunding page to be able to give some of the hand sanitiser away for free to those on the frontline who need it most.
Dave said: “For us it’s about making sure we are doing our bit to support and help key workers, from care workers to delivery drivers and supermarket staff.
“They are all struggling to get hold of this product and they are the people we will be helping out first.
“Everything is upfront cost for us. We can’t get any credit with any suppliers, because people are worried about getting paid. We’ve put our money into being able to finance our first batch, and hopefully that will support the next batch.
“If people can support the crowdfunding we have set up, we will be able to give more litres of hand sanitiser away and reach more people.
“We’re thinking outside of the box to find bottles for the sanitiser and have already sourced dispensing bottles from Little Soap Company and Primark at a discounted rate.
“It’s nice to be able to do something useful in times like this. Dunkirk spirit has been discussed, having lots of little ships helping, and we are grateful to be doing our bit.”
Warwickshire Gin Company is based in Leamington and was founded 18 months ago.
It is famous for its handcrafted dry gins which are inspired by the history of Warwickshire like Leamington On Parade and Kingmaker.
Mark Ryder, Strategic Director for Communities at Warwickshire County Council, said: “There is a pressing need for supplies for frontline NHS and care home workers, so it is great to hear what the Warwickshire Gin Company has done off its own back to help the national cause.
“It is typical of the response we have had from firms of all sizes, and says a great deal about businesses across Warwickshire.”