During the current pandemic we all have to support each other where we can. It’s times like these that bring out the best in people, which is why a group of our Dumfries and Galloway Council school staff, scientists and technicians, have volunteered to step up to help local business, Alpha Solway.
Based in Annan, Alpha Solway is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of PPE products, including protective clothing and disposable respirators. Their products are sold all over the world to protect people at work.
Obviously, this type of equipment is even more vital during the current Covid-19 crisis and Alpha Solway are currently working full out to prepare face fit test kits for the NHS, which is stretching this already busy business. In need of help, the company approached their local school, Annan Academy, and asked if their Science Department could help.
In an incredibly positive partnership, around 20 of our Council staff, scientists and technicians from across schools in the area, volunteered to utilise the chemistry department at the Academy to assist in the preparation Bitrex, a solution which is used to ensure Respiratory Protective Equipment is fit for purpose. Hopefully this will ease the burden on the company and will help to provide more of the vital equipment that our colleagues in the NHS need so desperately.
We have made a hugely successful start: our scientists have already completed the first run of 40 litres of the solution, equivalent to 190 bottles, which are already on their way to the NHS.
Steven Binnie, Director of Alpha Solway said” “At Alpha Solway we are working hard to get critical PPE products to front line workers and have been amazed by the community support we have received. One fantastic example are the Dumfries and Galloway school support and teaching staff who, co-ordinated by Ghislaine Duncan from the Council, have come together at Annan Academy to manufacture face mask fit test solutions critical for anyone who requires a respirator.
They are directly contributing to the safety and wellbeing of countless healthcare professionals across Scotland.”
Jeff Leaver, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Education Committee said: “I am delighted to hear that we can be of service during this current emergency and that we can utilise our school and staff in such a positive way. I would like to pass on my thanks to all our volunteers and congratulate you for stepping in when needed. The Council’s Education department hope to keep the new partnership going once we have emerged from the current emergency, as we hope this could be beneficial to both partners.”
Chair of Economy and Resources, Rob Davidson said: “I have said we will help local businesses in any way we can, and this is a great, innovative use of our resources. I would like to echo Jeff’s thanks to the volunteers and praise them for all their hard work. This is already a fantastic result and we hope to continue production for as long as is necessary.”