6 December 2020

Community kindness shown by suppliers during lockdown

Vehicle parts supplier scrubs up well to give a helping hand

From £50k food bank donations to 32,000 shaving razors for the NHS to numerous stories of staff volunteering their time to deliver vital PPE, food and medical parcels it’s hard to pick just a few of the unbelievable acts of community kindness shown by our 1000+ suppliers this year.

We’ll be taking  a look at the acts of kindness our suppliers have shown across our key category areas in the coming weeks, but today we thought we would start with one of our suppliers on our vehicle parts framework, A.J. Grant & Sons based in Inverness, a family owned business started in 1962.

Like many other businesses, A.J. Grant & Sons was affected by the pandemic and saw a drop in sales. But instead of slowing down they saw this an opportunity to help their local community and quickly got to work making scrubs and masks.

Katriona Beaton, Partner at A.J Grant & Sons and the granddaughter of the man whose started the business, told us: “We’re all very proud of how we all came together during this.

“We donated gloves and seat covers to our local district nurses and collected more gloves from other businesses next to us. We also collected duvet covers, washed them and we made them into scrubs and scrub bags for washing uniforms in with a small team of volunteers. We made over 3000 bags that we donated to local nursing homes and doctor surgeries. We found the kids loved the colourful ones like the Olaf top pictured and helped distract them when getting treatments.

“We were a team of eight in the end, five seamstresses, one lady did most of the washing and my husband and son collected and delivered, helped by volunteer motor bikers who delivered all over the Highlands too. We also donated to the food banks.”

Katriona added: “I’m in the shielded category and just wanted to give back to the people who have helped me and continue to help people in our community.

“It really felt like we all came together for the greater good and we are proud to have helped not just our local community but the whole of the Highlands.”

Julie Welsh, Scotland Excel’s Chief Executive, said: “This is just one example of the amazing stories we’ve been hearing from our suppliers and members. Our suppliers have been at the forefront of the pandemic with many of them going above and beyond what was expected of them. Social value is hugely important to Scotland Excel and I’m so pleased that so many of our suppliers feel the same way.

“I’d like to thank all of our suppliers for their efforts in helping our members to keep the supply chain going and for the wonderful acts of community kindness. I’ve been reading through them and the variety and lengths that people have gone to, either at work or in their spare time is inspiring.”