April 16, 2020 @ 15:12 by Steven Hugill
A mutual has worked with a distillery to provide free hand sanitiser for rural communities battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Newcastle Building Society has donated 500 bottles of sterilant to sites across the Upper Yorkshire Dales.
The move comes after the mutual teamed up with gin maker Spirit of Swaledale, which is manufacturing the sanitiser to World Health Organisation standards.
Newcastle Building Society operates a branch in Hawes, which is based in the Yorkshire Dales, and customer director Stuart Miller said it was committed to helping keep people safe.
He said: “We’re pleased to be able to do what we can to support our communities through these difficult times.
“Across our branch network we’re working hard to maintain a safe and healthy environment and this responsibility extends right throughout the community.
“We all know how important regular handwashing and hand hygiene is at the moment.
“We also know that hand sanitiser can be very difficult to get hold of – especially in more rural areas – so we’re delighted to be working with Spirit of Swaledale to make a donation of their hand sanitiser to the local community.”
Ian Purves, founder of Spirit of Swaledale, added: “We were keen to contribute to the effort against the coronavirus outbreak and help protect the people in our community.
“Although making hand sanitiser is a bit of a change from the production of gin and rum, we were able to follow a simple and highly effective formula.”
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the mutual last month made a £100,000 contribution to the £1 million appeal set up by the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation for its new Coronavirus Recovery and Response Fund.