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How are you all today? Here's a bit of a long update so you might need a brew or other libation! There will also be quite a few exclamation marks. Apologies, as we don't like to overuse them, but there's been so much !ing things that have happened!
We've had a few conversations with people this week, personal and professional, and some are feeling quite down.
Rightly so, there are many brilliant posts about how people are finding lots of positives in this crazy situation we find ourselves in and it's uplifting to see.
However, as the saying goes, "it's okay not to be okay" and we definitely haven't been okay at times. We're only human and we need to give ourselves space to feel the lows as well as the highs. We hope you've all got at least one person you can talk to and be yourself with. If not, remember there are many groups out there, including Ulverston's own Isolation Group (manned by the most amazing volunteers) who are at the end of a phone and will listen.
So, what have we been up to this week?
Well, on the JustGiving front we have reached £4,415! An unbelievable amount. You do realise we only started this page 9 days ago?!
As well as you lovely public, we've had generous donations from Rotary Barrow in Furness, Askam & Ireleth History Group & Ulverston's own Bender UK Ltd who make power and clinical equipment for critical care areas in hospitals such as intensive care units and theatres. They are supporting the NHS with urgent projects.
Creative fundraiser of the week has to go to Ulverstonian, SIM LEECH. From his garden he can see Ingleborough. Ingleborough is 724 metres high. Due to lock down, he can't go and climb that so he figured out that WALKING 106 TIMES UP AND DOWN HIS GARDEN would be the equivalent of 724 metres! And blimey, he only went and did it! He kept us all in the loop with the odd (very odd!) live feed and pictures. He had an interesting lap counting system that was made up of a clothes line and clothes pegs. This morning, BBC Cumbria radio did a piece about it and Zoe was also interviewed. Thank you so much Sim. We've totted up the donations the fund received due to your "climb" and it's over £400!
What about the SANITISER production?
Well, our state of the art bucket, pail and jug system seems to be working well and we even invested in a brand new (manual) drum pump!
We've gifted around 600 bottles so far. Yesterday, we had 200lts of alcohol delivered and from that we'll be able to make around 2,500 bottles of sanitiser. However, because of the amount of money you've raised we can order another 200lts of alcohol. That means, when that's all made up, you will have helped us produce over 5,000 BOTTLES! ??
Talking about bottles, this has been a real issue. Sourcing is so difficult and prices are high. This was one of our lows, this week. Zoe was all over the net and phone trying to find some as we ran out and some we had ordered hadn't turned up.
Then, we found the Continental Bottle Company in Cheshire. Normally, they deal in the hundred thousands but, Zoe explained the situation and their MD came up trumps and found us a couple of thousand, for a charity price AND they're delivering them next week! So, stress levels went down and the low became a high!
How about the SHED?
We are truly missing having you people there. When this lock down happened that side of the business was really taking off. We had bookings for Afternoon G&Teas, Gin Tours & Tastings, private parties, Make Your Own Gin....So, all we can do is hope that we ride out this crisis and get back on track.
Many thanks to those of you who have told us they want to keep their paid bookings and rebook when it's all over. Many thanks to those who have bought gift certificates for the future. Many thanks for the Gin Orders we're posting out around Britain and delivering in the area. Many thanks for all your kind words, encouragement and support.
Finally, these groups have been supplied (or will be next week once the bottles turn up) with sanitiser:
Ambulance Service, Elmhurst Care Home, Croft Housing, Furness Homeless Support, South Cumbria Mental Health Services, Abbeyfield House Ulverston, St Mary's Hospice, Cumbrian Equipment Services, Barrow Foodbank Volunteers, Women's Community Matters, Abbeyfield Barrow, Chetwynde School (looking after frontline workers' children, vulnerable children and supplying meals on wheels), Mind Furness, Daisy Do Homecare, Samaritans Carlisle, County Council Adult Services, Reliacare, CHOC (Cumbria Health on Call), Corporate Care Furness, Furness Mental Health, County Council Children's Services, Bridge House, Creative Support Homecare and Outreach, Parkview Gardens, Project John, Oaklea Trust.
Enquiries come in every day and we'll do our best to help as many as we can.
THANK YOU. TAKE CARE. Zoe & Andy