A Lancashire refrigerated van manufacturer is battling on with a skeleton workforce to ensure the nation has access to vital drugs and food supplies.
CoolKit, in Burnley, 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, the business is fighting hard to stay open and ensure the speedy delivery of refrigerated vans during this national crisis.
Rupert Gatty, CoolKit CEO, said: “We feel duty bound to join the national effort at this unprecedented time. 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.”
One of these customers is 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.
Glenn McCulley, CoolKit’s sales and marketing director said: “FareShare is a valued customer who urgently requested two more refrigerated vans to meet rocketing demand.
“The charity already had 14 of our refrigerated vans and we knew how vital it was for them to expand this fleet during the pandemic, so we offered them one of our own.”
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.”
Work being carried out for medical and pharmaceutical requirements is confidential at this time.
CoolKit, a market leader in the manufacture of temperature controlled light commercial vehicles, had to make the tough decision to furlough some 70% of its workforce as a direct impact of Covid-19.
Rupert said: “In my 15 years at the helm, this was without doubt the toughest challenge faced, but with some orders being put on hold, an uncertain supply chain and a responsibility to keep our workforce safe, there was no real choice.
“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.”