Maidstone Distillery gives town centre a hand with donations of sanitiser
One Maidstone has facilitated a generous donation of hand sanitiser to town centre volunteers, courtesy of the newly opened Maidstone Distillery.
Housed in the Market Buildings, the Maidstone Distillery, having now launched its local gin brand online, began producing sanitiser at the start of the Covid crisis. Having already provided stocks of this product free of charge to sites such as Maidstone Hospital, One Maidstone was able to connect founder Darren Graves with the Urban Blue Bus and the Maidstone Street Pastors.
The Urban Blue bus, staffed by medical volunteers to provide assistance to members of the public, primarily on evenings out, found themselves facing a shortage of sanitiser, with Super Saturday rapidly approaching. Trustee Val Jacobs explains, ‘The trustees of Urban Blue Bus cannot thank Darren and the team at Maidstone distillery enough for the incredible donation of hand sanitiser for the volunteers to use. At a time when we have lost revenue due to events being cancelled because of COVID19 and having extra expenditure with buying PPE, this donation is invaluable.’
A donation of sanitiser was also made to the town’s team of volunteer Street Pastors, and to One Maidstone’s BID Ambassadors, who are employed by the BID to patrol the town centre to assist Kent Police with incidents of anti-social behaviour and support the public in understanding social distancing measures. BID Manager Ilsa Butler says ‘One Maidstone is very glad to welcome the Maidstone Distillery venture to the town, and applauds the team for launching during such a difficult time. Opening a new business is challenging enough, but the Distillery has also managed to help its local community by producing and donating this fantastic sanitiser. Our Ambassadors come into contact with the public on a daily basis, and their welfare, as well as that of visitors to the town centre is our priority, and we thank the Distillery for the exceptional generosity they have shown to us and to others.’
Darren Graves, owner and founder of the Maidstone Distiller, expands ‘When the Covid-19 crisis broke, Maidstone Distillery was about to launch and open to the public. Frustrated but determined to help where we could, like many distilleries up and down the country we re-purposed our equipment and expertise to make sanitiser. We have been delighted to support many charities and front-line workers, as well as members of our own community. We are also pleased to hear that our efforts are helping get businesses back to normal. For ourselves, this means making craft premium spirits as well as sanitiser. Delayed by the lockdown but not stopped, our first spirit, George Bishop London Dry gin, is available now.’