More than 20 litres of hand sanitiser donated to local community groups, supporting some of the most vulnerable during COVID-19

The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute successfully delivered over 400 bottles of hand sanitiser to multiple organisations throughout Wollongong and the Illawarra.

Demand for services have increased during the coronavirus, but restrictions have meant businesses must adapt their operations – especially increased hygiene measures.

The sanitiser was created by IHMRI technical officer and chemist, Dr. Reece Gately for local not-for-profits. It was distributed to Meals on Wheels, the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre, Wollongong Homeless Hub, Illawarra Cancer Carers and Cancer Council NSW.

Meals on Wheels Kiama Manager Joanne North said that the donation of hand sanitiser means that their meal delivery service can continue safely.

“We can continue our work in the community with increased confidence using the WHO approved hand sanitiser to keep our vulnerable older Australians safe,” she said.

Miranda Bachelor, Community Liaison and Client Support Manager from the Women’s Health Centre, said that the accessibility to hand hygiene makes it easier for their clients to safely go about their day.

“These hand sanitisers make the women needing support more comfortable and confident to go out into the community to access services. The support also gives them the confidence to flee domestic violence.”

The formula, based on World Health Organization instructions, was originally created for the Wollongong arm of Cancer Council NSW to continue their Transport to Treatment program.

IHMRI Chief Operating Officer Kara Lamond said that it was important that the needs of the wider community were met, who may not have a direct association with IHMRI.

“As a health and medical research institute, the health and safety of the local community is always at the forefront of what we do. We had the resources to give peace of mind to vulnerable people in the Illawarra through hand hygiene,” she said.

Since the success of the first two batches, the labs have continued to create sanitiser for more not-for-profit groups. IHMRI has pledged hand sanitiser for Oak Flats Lions Club, Kidzwish, Multicultural Communities Council of the Illawarra, Salvation Army and Housing Trust, to be delivered in June.

Media contact

Lizzie Jack, Social Media Coordinator

t: 4221 5432

e: ejack@uow.edu.au

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