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Scottish businesses unite to protect remote West Coast communities

CalMac, the travel firm responsible for keeping around 22 Scottish Islands connected to the mainland during the coronavirus outbreak, has teamed up with family-owned ARRAN Sense of Scotland to keep west coast communities safe. 

The ferry operator has signed a deal that will see the home and body care brand switch production from its usual soaps, shower gel and home fragrance collections to manufacturing 50ml bottles of antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel.

CalMac is initially purchasing 10,000 bottles, two thirds of which will be supplied to its frontline staff on vessels and in ports. The remaining bottles will be given out free of charge to the NHS, Police Scotland and the RNLI for use in their premises up and down the west coast. 

Currently operating an essential lifeline service until 7th May, CalMac is ensuring travel between the islands and the mainland is available for essential shopping, to provide care for vulnerable people and to allow residents to travel to work where absolutely necessary. Islands served by


CalMac takes delivery of the first batch of antibacterial gel.

CalMac include Arran, Barra, Benbecula, Berneray, Bute, Canna, Cowal and Dunoon, Iona Lewis, Kintyre and Skye. For a full list visit 

CalMac Managing Director, Robbie Drummond said:

'These are difficult times for everyone, but our island communities are particularly isolated trying to balance a fine line between keeping communities safe and maintaining island economies and essential needs.

'We identified a need to provide additional hand sanitiser products for our frontline staff and working with a local island-based business provided the right solution to help us all - fulfilling our needs and boosting the local economy. Further to this and recognising that we will have some surplus product, we are very keen to support our local NHS and Police Scotland teams by gifting hand sanitisers to them.'

Andrew Russell, Sales & Marketing Director at ARRAN Sense of Scotland, said:

'In today's current and unpredictable situation, it's vital that we pull together to help support our local communities in any we can. Now more than ever, we wanted to give something back and help to protect those around the country putting themselves on the front line to help others.' 
Although CalMac is currently operating to a 95% reduced capacity due to the Covid-19 crisis, it still needs to maintain reliable lifeline services across 26 routes to island destinations.

ARRAN Sense of Scotland creates bath, body and home fragrance collections inspired by and proudly made on the Isle of Arran.
For three decades, the family-run company has been creating vibrant, evocative scents from their Home Farm factory - an old dairy farm for the historic Brodick Castle. The company has grown significantly since it began as a small, family soap business, but has held true to its island heritage.

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