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Glasgow City Council

Council scientists recognised for Covid-19 response manufacturing hand sanitiser

The Scientific Services team at Glasgow City Council which includes International footballer Joanne Love has been shortlisted for a Scottish Public Service Award.

Jo Love

The Scottish Public Service Awards celebrate the daily contribution made to Scotland's civic society from within the civil service, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, local government, health and social care sector and the broader public sector.

The Scientific Services team's submission lies within the SPSA Covid-19 Response category. Its shortlisting is in recognition of its outstanding public health contribution manufacturing and distributing laboratory grade hand sanitiser products for front-line council and health and social care staff throughout the pandemic.

The 40 strong team was assisted by a generous donation of high strength alcohol from international spirits firm Edrington, which made the manufacture of their initial batches of sanitiser possible following Lord Provost Philip Braat's high-profile appeal for a variety of PPE donations as supplies ran low. Firms like Clydeside Distillery and AG Barr followed suit donating alcohol and bottles respectively to the Scientific Services team.

The Lord Provost said: "Having liaised with many officers in the team during the pandemic, I am fully aware of their tireless efforts. This recognition is nothing short of what they deserve and I wish the whole Scientific Services team the very best of luck."

Joanne Love, capped for Scotland more than 190 times, works as a chemical analyst within Scientific Services and was involved in taking delivery of the first batch of alcohol donated by the Scotch Whisky firm Edrington.

Jo said: "I'm glad to be able to do my bit. We all want to get through this pandemic safely and I know all the staff are extremely proud of their contribution and to be recognised by reaching the finals for this prestigious award.

"Some football fans may know that I have been playing in the UEFA Women's Champions League, having qualified for the last 32 with Glasgow City. Not only have I been part of a successful team on the pitch, the same team spirit demonstrated by all the lab staff has carried us through the pandemic and we continue to further diversify our skills in supporting all council employees. In these difficult times we are proud to be helping our front-line workers and those they serve." 

The winners, across 13 categories will be declared at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday 16 December. The judges are:

Ken Macintosh MSP, Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer; Mandy Rhodes, Managing Director, Holyrood Communications Ltd; Gillian McGregor, Director, Scotland Office, UK Government; David McGill, Assistant Chief Executive, Scottish Parliament; Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, SCVO; Sarah Gadsdenm, Chief Executive, Improvement Service; Alec Harley, Scotland Lead, Leidos; Stephen Boyle, Auditor General and Lesley Fraser, Interim Director General Organisational Development and Operations, Scottish Government.

Encouraging submission the SPSA said: "While every year we are in awe of the work of our public servants, there is no doubt that 2020 has been like no other year for those working tirelessly to deliver public services. The response to the unprecedented demands arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has been extraordinary and this year, the Scottish Public Service Awards will no doubt acknowledge those super human efforts that have seen communities coming together to help each other in a spirit of solidarity, cooperation and kindness."

Duncan Scott, a chartered chemist and Scientific Services Group Manager explained the production process and its challenges. He said: "Throughout the course of this Pandemic we were working a variety of shifts to deal with the daily changes in requirements of the services we provide. 

"We were working flat out to prepare and label thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser, giving advice sanitising products and sanitising cleaning processes as well as continuing to provide our other analytical services to our clients.

"The sanitiser was manufactured from alcohol that had to be denatured and mixed with other reagents to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) alcohol rub specifications. There were two basic types that are acceptable one iso-propanol based and the other ethanol based. Both the manufacture and labelling of the sanitiser follow stringent guidelines".

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