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Northamptonshire charity to fly massive hand sanitizer shipment to Africa

Rushden Community College students teamed up with Phoenix Resource Centre to help with the Wrapped Up campaign at Christmas.

Rushden Community College students teamed up with Phoenix Resource Centre to help with the Wrapped Up campaign at Christmas.

70,000 bottles of hand sanitiser are due to be shipped out to West Africa by a Northamptonshire charity bidding to battle the spread of the Ebola virus.

Wellingborough-based Phoenix Resource Centre, which is run by the Richardson family and a slim team of volunteers, is busy packing four large containers of the cleansing hand gel to be shipped out to Sierra Leone on Monday afternoon.

The charity works by re-distributing end-of-line or surplus stock handed to them by companies to those that need it.

Dad, John Richardson, 75, founded the charity in 2009 with his son Andrew and said the hand gels could save countless lives in the continent.

He said: “Ebola spreads by contact - if someone has sweaty hands and shakes someone else’s, they can spread the virus very easily. This hand gel does really help.”

It is the second time Mr Richardson, also a trustee for the charity West Africa Relief, has overseen an aid deployment in Sierra Leone.

Just 18 months ago the family shipped over four containers of hand sanitizer when there was an acute cholera outbreak in the war-torn country.

There have been difficulties in the latest deployment too, Mr Richardson said, as the nature of the hand gel bottles means some of those at the bottom of a stacked pile have the tendency to burst.

But the family, which includes wife Margaret and son Andrew, take pride in helping stem the spread of the killer virus.

“This outbreak is incredibly serious,” he said. “I feel very satisfied doing this, but the problem is they need a lot more sanitizer out there.

“They will need another eight containers in this next month - whether we are able to get that we don’t know.”

The Phoenix Resource Centre, on Vaux Road, has 2,000 members receiving its goods, from Scouts clubs to theatre groups, and can be called on 01933 225363.

The charity also has centres in Harlow and Leicester.

 

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