Cardboard, Chaos and Creating a New Normal.

We thought it was just the stuff of science fiction and movies depicting a dystopian vision of the future, a pandemic hits us hard and renders us paralysed as it rages across the world … a couple of hours in a cinema eating popcorn and giving us something to think about as we have a few beers in a nearby Nandos.

Then it really happens and everything hits the fan…

Let’s face it, COVID-19 has been a nightmare, lockdown, suffering .. loss on all levels from personal to financial … and there’s still more to come.

But, let’s also face it, we are human and we humans have an inherent instinct for survival and working out solutions to fix our shared problems, no matter how dire they seem.

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At Garthwest we haven’t come up with a panacea, an anti-body or a solution to what happens to restore the global economy but, in our own way, we have worked things out for ourselves and found solutions to keep moving forward and to keep doing what we do best.

Back in March 2020 (that seems like a lifetime ago) the hideous realisation about what was about to hit us became frighteningly real. What the hell were we going to do?

It also became very apparent that as our customers make food and pharmaceuticals and supply PPE that there would be a real and vital requirement for Garthwest to rise to the challenge as we are a part  of these essential supply chains.

As a ‘family’ business, our business is our ‘family’ and so we did what comes naturally, we turned to our ‘family’ for support and help and to work out what we needed to do.

With little information, apart from the initial Government guidance, Brian and Miglena set to and formed our COVID Committee on March 16th to start the process.

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People came first.

Everyone at Garthwest was spoken to and asked their opinion, how did they feel? What could we do? How could we protect everyone and keep everyone as safe as possible? From this they worked up a full risk assessment of our offices and production and swiftly enacted everything possible to reduce risk of infection in the workplace. They did, and continue to do, a brilliant job. Everything they undertook, and continue to undertake, is after full consultation and with full co-operation and understanding of the whole business.

As time, lockdown and relentless information on the horrors of COVID marches forward at a relentless rate we have done all we can to stay ahead.

Paul and Dean have utilised their years of experience in product design to create new barrier screens and social distancing products for Garthwest and now for the wider community.

We have supplied packaging to fantastic charities who have been working tirelessly to provide food and PPE to those in need.

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We have listened to each other, we recognise when someone is having a ‘COVID DAY’ (one whereby everything just gets too much) and we do what we can to support them through this.

We have adapted our working hours to be more compact, yet offer flexibility, where possible.

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As a family, we have done everything we can to look out for each other and our customers, old and new.

Hopefully science can provide a vaccine or mitigate the effects of COVID 19 to allow us all to return to something close to normality, in the meantime the best we can do is to play to our strengths.

Reach out a metaphorical hand to those who need help. Use our skills to help adapt and adjust to our current situation. Do all we can to learn from this and to use these learnings to be better, stronger and wiser for the future.