College student supporting frontline in fight against Coronavirus

City of Glasgow College student, Alistair Lee, has stepped forward to help during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The DipHE Business student has joined a company set up specifically to produce hand sanitiser for key workers needing to protect themselves against COVID-19. 

The 20 year old from Kilmacolm was due to complete his exams in May but, with those cancelled, and his course work in-hand, he chose to lend his support to the current crisis.

“Clear Water Gel is part of a family business that owns a large distillery, North of Aberdeen, which produces gin and Scotch whisky. In response to this pandemic, they set up a separate company to produce liquid hand sanitiser which contains an 80% ethanol content, in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines,” explained Alistair.

The business student is drawing on skills learned during his time at the college for his new role as a consultant where he contacts anyone and any organisation on the frontline that urgently requires hand sanitiser.

“My target areas include the NHS, of course, but also private hospitals, food production and distribution, construction, government bodies and councils, energy companies; logistics, shipping and haulage; farmers, and education institutions. It’s my job to make contact and then negotiate quantity and pricing.”

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College, said:

“We are delighted that one of our students is using the skills and experience gained at College to help during this time of national emergency. We fully support the Ready Scotland national initiative, and we are committed to positively encouraging people to volunteer where they are able to do so safely, alongside their work. I am humbled to see our staff and student team spirit continuing to shine through during these incredibly difficult and fast changing times.”  

It has been an abrupt end to Alistair’s life as a student. He was due to leave the college in June 2020 after completing his exams but acknowledges it is unlikely he will now be back. 

“I have had an absolute ball over the two years I was at City of Glasgow College, meeting some lifelong friends and connecting with some brilliant lecturers.

“The opportunities provided to me by the college have been outstanding, notably in the area of enterprise. I was a joint winner in the annual John Mather Trust enterprise competition where I was awarded a £2,000 grant to help start my business. That was the catalyst for my entrepreneurial journey so far. The grant helped me set up two online businesses, buy my first investment property, and now I am working with a company helping to provide a critically required sanitation product.

“I initially went to Heriot Watt University to study economics, but it wasn’t for me. I left, had a major rethink and realised I wanted to run my own business. I did some research which narrowed down City of Glasgow College as the best place to gain that entrepreneurial drive,” he explained.

While Alistair plans to continue with Clear Water Gel to help throughout the current crisis, and long term he will refocus on growing his businesses, on a personal note he has been nominated for this year’s Bridge 2 Business Enterprising Student of the Year Award. The results will be announced in June.

“It wouldn’t be unrealistic to say the college has been the reason for all of this. It’s been brilliant,” said Alistair