Halesworth’s Herrco Cosmetics is set to deliver 20,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to key workers, small businesses and local residents this week

East Anglian Daily Times: This weekend, the Herrco team hand-delivered bottles of hand sanitiser to Halesworth residentsThis weekend, the Herrco team hand-delivered bottles of hand sanitiser to Halesworth residents (Image: Herrco Cosmetics)

We are now several weeks into lockdown, and while supermarket shelves are certainly looking better stocked than they did a month or so ago, some items are still proving hard to come by. Hand sanitiser has been in short supply for several months, leaving many care workers, frontline staff and vulnerable citizens unable to get hold of this elusive product. But help is at hand, thanks to the efforts of local cosmetics manufacturer Herrco.

Six weeks ago, the Halesworth-based manufacturer – which is usually busy making bespoke haircare and skincare products for leading global brands – decided to turn its attention to producing hand sanitiser, in an effort to help to combat the ongoing UK shortage. In the weeks since, the initiative has grown rapidly, and the company has been able to donate tens of thousands of bottles to those who need it most.

This weekend, the Herrco team rallied together (all while adhering to approriate social distancing measures, of course) to hand-deliver bottles of hand sanitiser to every single household in Halesworth – a grand total of around 3,000 doors! The team members popped the products through residents’ letterboxes, ensuring that everyone in the town has their own personal supply of hand sanitiser to see them through the next few weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“It was a really fantastic, coordinated effort from our team,” says John Wiley, Operations Director at Herrco Cosmetics. “The weather was lovely, we kept to the social distancing rules and we just had a fantastic day. The feedback we’ve had from Halesworth residents has been fantastic as lots of people were struggling to get hand sanitiser.”

East Anglian Daily Times: The products are made in the Herrco labs in HalesworthThe products are made in the Herrco labs in Halesworth (Image: Herrco Cosmetics)

“We’ve been taking lots of safety precautions here at Herrco. We’ve been temperature checking staff since before the lockdown, and make sure to provide our staff with PPE such as facemasks and gloves – and of course, hand sanitiser! Everyone at Herrco has got through this knowing that we are producing hand sanitiser for people and companies that really need it. It’s given an added sense of purpose to coming to work every day.”

Along with the Halesworth drop-off initiative, the Herrco team has also been working on a number of different ways to get their hand sanitiser products to those in need. From NHS workers and community hospitals through to local branches of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the team has been busy sending free supplies to frontline staff.

What’s more, this week, the company is set to deliver a further 20,000 units of hand sanitiser to workers across East Anglia. After putting up a LinkedIn post asking for companies to get in touch with their requests, Herrco received plenty of appeals for help, and has been busy preparing the 20,000 free units for delivery this week.

As the company ramps up its hand sanitiser production, Herrco is likely to be taking on more staff in the future, helping to create more jobs in the local area in what will be another positive step forward for the company at this testing time.

“It really is thanks to the Hermann family, who founded Herrco, that this has been possible,” says John. “This is a family business and they’ve been really supportive of all of the staff. We’ve got a great team here at Herrco and we’re really proud to be doing our bit to help.”