Shepherd Neame is continuing its efforts to support local businesses by ordering 3,000 cloth face masks for its team members from a Kent company.
The Faversham-based independent family brewer and pub operator placed the order for the masks with Tillett Racing Seats based in Sittingbourne earlier this month.
Tillett Racing Seats is one of a number of businesses in Kent and Sussex with a sewing capability to have shifted production to making non-medical cloth face masks as part of the Make Masks UK initiative, operated by a team of eight volunteers and supported by Locate in Kent, Kent's official investment agency.
Other manufacturers who have signed up so far include exclusive furniture maker Atmosphere Limited from Westgate-on-Sea and bespoke military textile company Jarvis Manufacturing from Eastbourne.
Alex Pawle, Project Manager for Make Masks UK, said: “I own a precision metal component manufacturing company in Ashford and needed masks for my team members, so we came up with the idea of this initiative. We have been delighted at the interest from local manufacturers eager to help and also from companies in urgent need of masks for their staff.”
All the masks produced for the Make Masks UK initiative meet the BSI-recommended AFNOR spec S76-001, and can be washed and reused, making them more cost-effective than disposable masks.
Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses, and when looking for a supplier of face masks to ensure the safety of our people, we were delighted to be able to source them from a business based just a few miles from the brewery. The masks will be used by workers at the brewery and across our pub estate when they reopen, to complement other protective measures and social distancing rules.”
Companies interested in buying masks, or able to join the initiative by manufacturing masks, can find out more at www.makemasksuk.org