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The first deliveries of a new hand sanitiser created by a Warwickshire gin distillery have gone out to local community groups, businesses and frontline NHS staff.

The first batch of hand sanitisers produced by Shakespeare Distillery based in Stratford-upon-Avon have been sent to NHS staff and the local Shakespeare Hospice, with local community groups and businesses next in line to receive the first orders.

The orders were delivered by electric vehicles provided by Electric Zoo, a local company which has supported Shakespeare Distillery’s initiative to prioritise local charities to be the first to receive the sanitisers.

The company, which was founded in 2015, is using its expertise in creating spirits to start the production of hand sanitiser alongside its regular distillation of gin by re-purposing an area of the distillery.

The product follows the World Health Organisation formula containing 80% alcohol and is being supplied in 300ml and 5-litre bottles.

Local businesses have already been ordering the sanitisers as they prepare to gather PPE equipment before they are safe to reopen, with Avon Boating in Stratford being one of the first local companies to receive a delivery of the sanitisers.

Peter Monks, owner of Shakespeare Distillery, said: “Our first deliveries of the hand sanitisers have now been produced and delivered, and we wanted to prioritise those who need it most, particularly in our local area.

“Now that key community groups, NHS staff and local businesses have started receiving orders, we are producing sanitisers for people across the wider region from all industries.

“We hope these sanitisers can help in some way to help these different people and groups to stay safe during these difficult times.

“We’d also like to say our personal thanks to all the NHS staff working incredibly hard, the community groups helping the most vulnerable in our region and local businesses who are adjusting to the situation and helping where they can.

“During lockdown, we’ve also created a new home gin tasting kit for gin-lovers to enjoy, accompanied by a video from our mixologist Sam. Whilst they can’t visit the distillery for a tour at the moment, it allows people to sip along at home and has received a great response so far.”

Lash Saranna, Owner of Electric Zoo, added: “Whilst the lockdown has been a difficult period, with traffic levels falling pre-1955 levels you can now hear the birds again and can breathe the cleanest air with emissions falling 60%. This is something we would like to help maintain with our electric cars which are silent and zero emission.”

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management Organisation for South Warwickshire which works to promote tourist businesses like the distillery, has praised the company for getting its first orders of the new product out to those most in need.

She said: “As businesses look towards the re-start of the economy, they need to prepare to ensure that customers and staff remain safe so these sanitisers provided by Shakespeare Distillery are so important as we look ahead to that time.

“We have been impressed to see how our members have been working to support the local community despite these difficult times, and we would like to thank them for their continued support.

“We have been providing our members with the most up-to-date information from VisitBritain, VisitEngland, UKinbound, Tourism Alliance, DCMS, ALVA and other industry bodies to ensure we are all working together.”

For more information on Shakespeare Distillery and the new hand sanitisers, visit https://shakespearedistillery.com/

ENDS

Caption: (left to right) Peter Monks of Shakespeare Distillery, staff from Shakespeare Hospice

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