Manchester Gin’s distillery, The Spirit of Manchester, has turned production over from gin to hand sanitiser to support the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West. Manchester Central Convention Centre, situated above the railway arch distillery, has been transformed into the 750-bed hospital to help the NHS cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like all frontline services nationwide, the NHS Nightingale North West struggled to source hand sanitiser amid a huge shortage across the country. In true neighbourly fashion, Manchester Gin made the decision to dedicate its 1,000-litre copper still, Wonder Wend, to producing the desperately needed sanitiser. Ahead of the hospital’s opening this Monday, the distillery delivered 200 bottles of sanitiser and will deliver a further 1,200 this week.
With Wonder Wend working constantly to meet demand, Manchester Gin has produced the sanitiser at cost. However, Manchester Gin co-founders and Master Distillers, Seb Heeley and Jen Wiggins, have pledged to continue to support the NHS Nightingale North West through its lifespan and are encouraging other frontline businesses in the north west to reach out should they be in need of the essential product.
Though the distillery is helping to supply frontline workers with the protection they need, they’re now facing a new shortage of bottles and pumps. To combat this, Manchester Gin asks that businesses order bulk containers where possible and only order as many individual bottles as necessary, with a view to refill all bottles rather than order new.
On the change in the distillery’s production, Seb Heeley said, “It was a no brainer when Manchester Central asked us to support the NHS Nightingale by producing sanitiser. We’re grateful to be able to play a small part in the tremendous effort that’s being made to get the country through this.
“We now want to help as many frontline services as possible. Our distillery can produce large volumes of sanitiser and can do so at cost, keeping prices low for those who need it most. If you’re a key worker on the frontline and are struggling to source sanitiser, we hope we’ll be able to help your team and make your day-to-day work somewhat safer.
“It’s important now that we try to limit the number of single-use individual bottles we throw away and try to refill them for as long as possible. Without suitable dispensers, the chain stops, no matter how much sanitiser we produce.”
Frontline services and charities can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to order sanitiser or for more information. The Spirit of Manchester Distillery will provide sanitiser directly to these businesses to ensure that the product gets to the places in which it is most needed, due to this it will not be available for the public to order on an individual basis at this time.