Published: 06:59, 22 May 2020
| Updated: 10:47, 26 May 2020
Sheerness Town Council has given out free face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser.
Chairman Matt Brown said: "Home carers, retail workers, agency staff, taxi drivers and any other public-facing individuals were invited to the Holy Trinity church hall in Sheerness Broadway to collect personal protection equipment (PPE) any time between 10am and 8pm on Friday and Saturday.
The council had 25,000 paper face masks, 600 bottles of hand sanitiser and more than 6,000 pairs of disposable gloves to give away. A further 25,000 plastic aprons arrived later.
The Holy Trinity Church distribution centre stayed open until supplies ran out.
Some equipment was put aside to help the food banks and other charities. The rest was distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cllr Brown added: "We were thrilled the equipment arrived. We were warned it may take a few weeks for the supplies to get to us but all the councillors were just so happy that it finally arrived.
Town clerk Yvette Cheesman said: "There was a steady stream of residents at the hall on Friday and Saturday who walked away with disposable face masks, gloves and aprons and bottles of hand sanitiser to help them try to stay safe.
"We had taxi and bus drivers, shop workers, teachers, agency staff, the over-70s and people looking after ‘at risk’ relatives turn up to collect their free protective gear which many said they were absolutely desperate for."
She added: "We’d like to say a special thanks to the store managers of Pound Stretcher and the Co-op in Sheerness High Street who donated carrier bags for people to put their equipment in. It was massively appreciated.
"And a huge virtual hug for Jeanette and Della from Holy Trinity for letting us use the hall free for as long as we needed to. It was absolutely wonderful."
Cllrs Brian Spoor, Lee McCall, Cherise Moorcroft and Chris Reed prepared and distributed the packs.
The council teamed up with Minster parish council to bulk-buy£20,000 of goods to get better value for money.
Minster enlisted a team of volunteers to deliver specially created packs to care homes in the parish.
Councillor Dolley White delivered the final packs to The Willows and Oakdene Residential Home on Thursday and CllrElliott Jayes dropped off packs earlier in the week. He said: "I was privileged to be part of the Minster-on-Sea Parish Council Covid-19 community support team.
The largest homes, Barton Court, The Little Oyster and Blackburn Lodge, picked up the equipment themselves rather than place councillors at risk.
Parish clerk Trish Hamilton said: "Two local councils joined forces at a time when the world was falling apart. That speaks volumes. The community is in safe hands."
Minster gave out a further 25,000 disposable aprons on Friday.
Aprons,visors, foam inserts and masks were provided by Kite Packaging of Sittingbourne.
Hand sanitisers were provided by Sheppey firm MediChem.
Wicked Printing provided disposable gloves.
More by this authorJohn Nurden