Co-founder – strategic sales and community activity
It started with a phone call in late February 2020, but it wasn’t just another chat with my brother Steve. I could sense the urgency in his voice as he made a request. “We are going to need a lot of PPE, can you help?” He runs the family business, a nursing home and acute mental health care centre that’s been in the Eustace family for almost 200 years. He needed surgical masks for nursing home staff, and respiratory masks for isolation wards, and he needed them fast.
From my time working at TNS Distribution, I’d built up connections with colleagues in Asia dating back almost 20 years. So my partners John, Mark and I got straight to work, tapping into our network initially to source PPE products in bulk for Steve and then also supplying others who needed it.
It was a massive challenge. The masks were fast becoming like gold dust; prices were increasing by the week and there were huge delays on supply. With the help of my brother Alan and his partner Ed, who are in the logistics business, we were able to move stock and supply the likes of Steve and others and help them fight the pandemic.
As we worked through the first few weeks of the Coronavirus, it quickly dawned on us that protective equipment isn’t just for frontline healthcare workers. Once the lockdown restrictions are lifted for the public, there will be huge demand for disposable face masks in order for people to safely get back to something approaching normal life. That’s how “Stay Safe” was born.