Refrigerated van manufacturer CoolKit is working to ensure safe transportation of drugs and food supplies for coronavirus response efforts, backed by a skeleton workforce.
Based in Burnley, Lancashire, the business has had to furlough some 70% of its workforce as a direct impact of Covid-19, but still has a team of 25 staff working hard to convert vehicles essential to the safe delivery of pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs to frontline organisations across the UK – despite coming up against a number of blockers.
Rupert Gatty, CoolKit CEO, said: “The most important things needed around the country right now are medicines and food supplies and we are helping our customers increase the safe transportation of these products.
“Ensuring these orders are met is not an easy task as most light commercial vehicle retailers who we usually source our vans from are closed, many partners needed in the conversion process are closed, most UK component suppliers are closed and we can’t access any of the required goods from overseas.
“I’m lucky to have a knowledgeable and determined team who are pulling out all the stops to get these conversions completed and delivered to where they need to be.”
Its customers include FareShare, a national organisation delivering vital food supplies to frontline charities across the UK, providing a lifeline to those most at risk, including children and families and those who are sick and self-isolating.
The charity already runs 14 of CoolKit’s refrigerated vans and is now running one of CoolKit’s own vehicles to provide a much-needed extra resource during the pandemic.
James Persad at FareShare said: “We are working extremely hard to deliver vital food supplies to those in need, so these vans play an extremely important role in ensuring that the food reaches people safely. We are very grateful to CoolKit for their support and generous donation at this difficult time.”
Rupert Gatty added: “As long as we are able, we will do all we can to help those customers who need support in vital roles during this national effort in a safe, responsible manner at all times.”