Drinks manufacturer and mayoral candidate join forces for key workers

Darlington firm Steel River Drinks has joined forces with a Tees Valley mayoral candidate to deliver care packages and much needed hand sanitiser to care workers as part of a new Act for Key Workers campaign.

Over the past few weeks Jessie Joe Jacobs – Labour’s candidate in the postponed Tees Valley mayoral election – has been working with the local community after setting up Teesside Community Action Group, a support network focused on the response to coronavirus.

The group has already helped neighbours to care for each other during the crisis, supplied isolated residents with a food delivery service and launched fundraising campaigns to feed key workers.

Now the group has now launched the Act for Key Workers campaign to show how they can practically help key workers on Teesside.

Jessie Joe has worked with Jay Byers from Steel River Drinks to get hand sanitiser into care homes.

The distillery, which has popular products such as Stainsby Girl Gin, has moved into production of hand sanitiser since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jessie Joe and Jay have visited four care homes including Elton Hall and Teesdale Lodge in Thornaby delivering the hand sanitiser and biscuits donated by TK Maxx for workers and residents.

Jessie Joe said: “This crisis has shown the true spirit of Teesside, which is of one of care and compassion.

“When this crisis hit, so many people wanted to know what they could do to help. For many people it’s as simple as staying at home but for those able to do more Teesside Community Action Group has been a brilliant way to support people to act.

“I know that the Thursday night clap for key workers has inspired a lot of people and shown our support for those who are working hard to protect us.

“People have been asking me what they can do to help in a more practical way and now local residents have come together to say they want to go further.

“This hand sanitiser is much needed in our care homes right now so it’s good to see a local business stepping up like this.”

Jay said: “Not all heroes wear capes and lycra. I have been amazed and humbled by the work our NHS workers have done throughout this terrible pandemic.

“The sheer number of key workers out there doing amazing, worthy, underpaid and at times brave work has compelled me to get behind this Act for Key Workers initiative.

“So Steel River Drinks will happily and proudly help these heroes in our own little way – gin, tonic and hand sanitiser!”