Demonstrating community spirit in Midlothian

Shell UK employee Alex Morrison has converted his family’s Scottish gin distillery into a hand sanitiser production line – to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Alex - known as Sandy - set about repurposing the King’s Hill distillery near Edinburgh after reading about the shortage of critical supplies for frontline workers battling the virus.

He carried out some desk research and discovered that the distillery had the supplies and equipment to make the 80 per cent proof hand sanitiser that would meet World Health Organisation specifications.

Sandy said: “When I heard that a number of local hospitals and care homes dealing with the most vulnerable people had run out of hand sanitiser, I realised we could make a difference.

“We have now switched our entire production line over from distilling gin to making hand sanitiser. So far, we have donated around 2,000 bottles to hospitals, care homes, police stations, nurseries and schools.”

In his day job for Shell, Sandy works offshore on the Brent Charlie platform in the North Sea, helping to monitor and co-ordinate operations from the Control Room. After a shift of two weeks offshore, he returns home to help his family at the distillery based in the Pentland Hills.

Sandy says he’s been overwhelmed by the response to his initiative, with some recipients near to tears. He is particularly pleased to have been able to donate a batch of King’s Hill hand sanitiser to the Midlothian District Nursing Team to help keep them safe in their work. “They looked after my own grandma for years, so it was really special to be able to give something back.”

Helping to protect NHS staff on the frontline

NHS staff from a hospital near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk have sent their heartfelt thanks to Shell employee Dale Haylock for donating a batch of full body hazmat suits.

The protective suits were delivered to the hospital’s intensive care unit after Dale received a plea from a family friend working there as a nurse. She explained that the James Paget hospital was facing severe shortages of PPE which help to protect staff and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Dale works as a construction manager in Great Yarmouth in support of Shell’s southern North Sea operations. The hazmat suits are typically worn to carry out work on process piping and equipment offshore. After obtaining the necessary internal approvals for the donation, Dale arranged for the surplus suits to be delivered direct to the hospital.

Dale said: “It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of this virus, but I’m pleased we could do something to help the heroic nurses and doctors on the front line who risk their lives every day.”

In her letter of thanks to Dale, the hospital’s chief executive wrote: “All our staff are working tirelessly to provide safe and compassionate care for our patients in these extremely difficult circumstances. As you can imagine, the additional pressures experienced during these unprecedented times impact staff and wellbeing and kind gestures such as this are very much appreciated.”

Fife gas plant donates face masks to local hospital

A hospital in Fife, Scotland has received much needed PPE donated by Shell UK’s local gas plant to help keep frontline medical staff safe.

The 360 face masks were delivered to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy by Mairi McKay who works as a community liaison officer at the nearby Shell Fife NGL plant.

Staff at the gas processing plant contacted the hospital to ask if they could make use of the masks, following a routine stock take. They realised they had more than enough for their own use and could afford to donate the surplus. The hospital staff welcomed their donation with open arms.

Typically, the face masks are worn by gas plant workers to protect them from dust and paint particles when they carry out maintenance work. But they also meet WHO specifications for medical staff who need to protect themselves from infected patients.

Mairi McKay said: “The hospital staff were so thankful for the masks. It was great to be able to show that we are thinking of them and the amazing work they are doing.”

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