A THREE-time trampolining champion for Great Britain has launched a campaign to provide local nurseries and primary schools with additional hand sanitisers, as the government follows through with its plan to get a selection of pupils back to school on June 1.
Stuart Sharpe, 26, who lives in Holybourne, first thought of starting the initiative when he talked to teachers about the situation they are facing.
Students in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in England are set to return to school on Monday.
While Stuart has been furloughed from his job as a chef at Bottega dei Sapori, he has been in contact with Gorilla Spirits and Silent Pool, two local distilleries who are now manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitisers instead of their usual production of gin.
His aim is to raise £2,500 to be able to provide primary schools with the hand sanitiser they need to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus and save lives.
Some schools have concerns they may not receive the appropriate level of sanitiser needed by Monday.
Currently, he has raised more than £700 on his online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stuart-sharpe-sanitiser-fund
If he manages to raise 80 per cent of his £2,500 target, he will be able to buy 120 units of Gorilla Spirits’ 250ml bottles, as well as 400 units of 30ml Silent Pool bottles.
This hand sanitiser will be used by staff at the local nurseries and primary schools who are often in close contact with their pupils in the classrooms and playground.
Stuart has been a trampoline coach for the past couple of years and knows first-hand about the importance of hygiene for young children and staff, running a club for primary school children who want to learn about the sport at a secondary school in Alton.
He was also set to run sessions at Eggar’s School in November.
As a three-time disability champion for GB, he volunteers as a coach for Alton Trampoline Club and has Asperger’s.
Although the coronavirus epidemic has prevented him from competing for his fourth title this year, Stuart has used this time to help others and is grateful for all of the support he has received so far during this campaign.
He told the Herald: “It’s gone faster than I thought it would in terms of donations, and a lot of people in the community feel it’s a good idea.”
Stuart also said that being a chef has had a major influence on his strong feelings towards the importance of hygiene – and is hoping to place his first order of hand sanitiser in the next couple of days in time for Monday.
When the Herald went to print, half of the 18 local schools the trampolinist had contacted had expressed their interest in receiving hand sanitiser, including Bentley Primary School and Alton Infant School.