Member Article

Three inspiring Surrey teens lead £100k charity project to provide 10,000 hand sanitisers to food banks nationwide during lockdown

Newport Industries, a chemical distribution company with offices in London, Shanghai and Miami, has launched a new charity initiative providing food banks across the UK with free hand sanitisers to help those most affected by Covid-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has left many people out of work, and many unable to afford basic food or hygiene supplies, including hand sanitiser. Demand for food banks across the UK is, sadly, soaring. Access to hand sanitisers is vital to help curb the progress of the virus and ultimately, save lives.

After reading that some foodbanks had over 3,000 extra people requiring support each day, Surrey teens Anushka Patel (19), her sister Anika Patel (17) and cousin Sasha Mehmet (16) decided to spend the time they had planned to work in internships and work experience placements this summer tackling the crisis on the ground, by providing hand sanitisers to food banks. The inspiring young women realised that Newport Industries was perfectly placed to offer its manufacturing and distribution expertise to foodbanks by distributing free hand sanitisers.

About the campaign To begin the campaign, the girls researched both nationwide and independent foodbanks to gain an understanding of the severity of help needed in each area. They will be delivering hand sanitisers to these foodbanks across the UK, including ones in London, Bristol, Yorkshire and Liverpool, helping over 35,000 people.

Revolutions Transport, in Cheshire, have provided their support and have been managing the storage of the products free of charge as well as managing the distribution of the hand sanitisers on a heavily discounted basis to all the participating food banks across the UK. ABAC Liverpool have also offered their support to the charity by helping to bring in goods for distribution at a heavily discounted price to ensure as many hand sanitisers as possible reach local food banks across the country.

The campaign launched this September with the first hand sanitisers hand delivered by the team to Bounds Green Food Bank in London on the 3rd September.

On their decision to set up the charity, Anushka and Anika Patel say, “During lockdown we spent a lot of time watching the news and seeing that the demand for food banks had increased. At the same time, our dad, who works in the chemical industry, was receiving multiple phone calls a day asking for specific components needed to make hand sanitisers. The price of the components had risen by tenfold which then increased the prices of the hand sanitisers themselves. This led us to propose the idea of bringing in hand sanitiser and donating them to food banks and people who need it most.” Anika Patel

“We then started to research which areas had higher coronavirus rates than the rest of the country, and also which areas had been badly hit by the increase in unemployment. It was important for us to help as many different groups of people as possible, which is why we contacted a variety of religious groups who were also helping their local community. We have also tried to contact a number of independent food banks, who may have not received as much funding and donations throughout the pandemic.” Anushka Patel

Sasha Mehmet says, “We really wanted to be able to help those who had been hit the hardest by pandemic, especially those with large families as well as individuals. We thought that if people were unable to pay for food then how were they meant to pay for sanitisers which would protect them against the virus. We anticipate that we will help over 35,000 people by the end of this project which will help the individuals themselves and also aid to reduce spread of Covid-19”

About the girls The Covid-19 health crisis has affected many different areas of people’s lives and for the younger generations, this has also meant a lack of work experience opportunities which are vital for career prospects and gaining a thorough understanding of their chosen professions. Anushka Patel, age 19, was studying Industrial Economics at Nottingham University when the pandemic struck, with an internship at a top company lined up to help her gain valuable insight into her subject area. Unfortunately, the nationwide lockdown meant that this opportunity was cancelled and Anushka was forced to work from home alongside her sister Anika, age 17, who was studying for her A-levels with the hopes of getting a place at university to study politics. Sisters Anushka and Anika, whose dad owns Newport Industries, and their cousin, Sasha, age 16, who is currently studying her GCSEs, decided that they wanted to use their time off to help others while also gaining valuable work experience which would otherwise have been impossible during lockdown.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sandra Griffiths .

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