Published: 15:08, 25 March 2020
| Updated: 15:50, 25 March 2020
A company which supplies schools and nurseries with everything from outdoor toys and sports equipment to books and stationery is opening up its online ordering service to parents during the coronavirus outbreak.
KCS, based in Aylesford, kits Kent's classrooms out with learning resources and furniture, stationery and cleaning equipment, and anything needed for outdoor play. But with schools now closed to the majority of pupils, staff are turning their attention to how they can best support the thousands of families now learning at home instead.
The company, which is a non-profit organisation, has in just 48 hours designed a website which will enable families to order in smaller quantities items that schools ordinarily would have bulk bought.
Parents can get their hands on anything from arts, crafts, glue and glitter, to sports equipment, games and puzzles, resources to aid learning and subjects in secondary schools all the way through to larger items for outdoor play such as sand and water toys, climbing equipment and mud kitchens for tinier tots.
In total the company estimates that there may be around 20,000 products available to order - which could be music to the ears of parents looking to keep kids busy as large parts of the high street are now closed to contain the virus outbreak.
KCS, which has been supporting education in the county for 90 years, has also uploaded a raft of free resources to its website which are available to families to download and use.
Director Matt Johnson explained: "We have opened up our services to the public.
"When schools go back we won't do this. But it's a service available whilst this is needed."
Mr Johnson said 'several hundred staff' were now working either from home, in its warehouse or as delivery drivers with teams thinned out and only essential staff on-site in order to take into account all of the government's social distancing guidelines.
The company, with its access to cleaning and hygiene equipment, is also helping to supply council staff with items they too require in the outbreak such as disposable gloves or face masks. The company has also offered to donate a quantity to the NHS locally.
For products in stock, KCS is offering a next day delivery option with free delivery available for orders over £20.
Because the new website is still in its infancy as the company attempts to respond to demand, customers are required to fill their basket through the site, check out and then a member of customer care staff will ring to confirm payment and arrange delivery.
To learn more or to see the stock available and place an order visit kcsconnect.co.uk
More by this authorLauren Abbott