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From Pints to PPE – Scottish business pivots to keep hospitality staff ‘topped up

Posted: 16th June 2020

EDINBURGH 16th June 2020 –  Staff at the Citi Hotel Aberdeen and award winning Edinburgh pub, Malones have pivoted from pulling pints to picking and packing PPE as lockdown eases and businesses return to work.

The idea is the brainchild of 32-year old Sarah Colquhoun, who was spurred into action when she read about PPE shortages and quickly mobilised existing supply chains to import certified PPE and began distributing to the NHS and local care homes with furloughed colleagues.

Sarah, who is also a Partner of Citi Hotel Aberdeen, was also concerned about the financial impact on furloughed colleagues so brought in her hospitality staff to help with the distribution.

Now, with lockdown easing and local businesses returning to work, the team have switched to selling direct to local businesses and residents and in doing so is expanding its service to Edinburgh and Glasgow by partnering with Malones to create local distribution centres.

Sarah explains: “When lockdown was announced, hospitality businesses closed their doors overnight and thousands of staff were placed on furlough.

“As we expand our PPE distribution service to businesses and residents, we are linking with local hospitality businesses to create central hubs from which to distribute PPE safely and efficiently, while at the same time providing employment for furloughed staff.”

Renata Matuszewska, Operations Manager of the Citi Hotel in Aberdeen, is one such furloughed worker who has switched smart suits for full PPE to pick and pack protective clothing for sale.

Renata explains: “For me this is a win-win.  I get to do worthwhile work that benefits the local community as well as being able to bring some of my team back to work.  We are a tight-knit group who are missing the camaraderie of the workplace so this is a really positive solution – the additional income to supplement furlough pay is also welcome!”

She added: “We have very strict health and safety processes whereby staff are not only social distancing, but also wearing full protective clothing to pick and pack the PPE. Businesses have lots to think about to ensure they can open and operate safely within social distancing guidelines – if we can support them by providing gloves and masks quickly and cost effectively, then that’s one less thing to worry about.”

Products, including hand sanitisers, face shields, gloves, masks and signage are available for next day delivery on www.rosslynnorth.com .


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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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