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Manufacturing Apprentice Robbie Lavin took a lead role in making hand sanitiser for the GSK Barnard Castle site including training other employees in the process. This was really important so that the site could continue to have controls in place in order to continue trusted supply of medicine to our patients.

GSK Barnard Castle is one of the largest secondary manufacturing sites in the network making sterile, dermatological and inhaled  products for our patients. Over 1000 staff work either making testing or supplying these life saving medicines.

Robbie aged 18 was six months into his first year of his apprenticeship when Covid-19 caused a lockdown on the site. Most of the site apprentices were sent home to work at home and continue studies along with many other staff members leaving a skeleton key worker crew who could continue to make the medicines needed. When it became difficult to continue a regular supply of  hand sanitiser to satisfy such a large site. The sire decided to make their own batches to ensure we could comply with covid controls.

Robbie came back on site to support this manufacture of important batches. In the process he became a real subject matter expert and for the next 6 months he helped to produce thousands of bottles ensuring safety within the site. Not only did he support it but he led the team,  took the lead and trained other established operators in this process following all health and safety guidelines and processes. As a result of this really important work he was recognised by the site for his contribution and his can-do attitude. This project was a fantastic development opportunity exposing him to new areas and people across the site. His confidence, communication , leadership and teamwork skills improved considerably. Not only that it gave him a real sense of pride and self worth to know he had volunteered for such a project which made a difference not only to the site but to our patients.