8th September 2020
Aquabox has completed the first stage of its planned move – all of 100 yards across the industrial estate where the depot is located at the top of Cromford Hill in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.
The move to new premises means that we will have much better facilities, a vastly improved environment for our volunteers, and the potential to substantially increase our output of water filters.
We have now completely vacated our former building, which has enabled our next door neighbour, the basketware distributor Willow Direct, to expand. The new building, which was formerly occupied by the fruit and veg distributor Palin’s Direct, is being extensively remodelled to meet our needs. It will include for the first time a visitor centre to demonstrate the charity’s work to visiting supporters, as well as a filter assembly room, box packing room, kitchen and toilets, all on the ground floor. The operation will now be completely accessible to those with limited mobility.
Aquabox was quick to lock down as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, chiefly because many of our volunteers are of an age which makes them particularly vulnerable. But our long-standing policy of holding stocks for filters and packed boxes of aid means that we have continued to deliver aid to crisis zones around the world. Shipments of aid have been sent to Nepal, where earthquakes and landslips regularly leave large numbers homeless; to Yemen, where the civil war continues and where thousands are living in conditions of extreme deprivation; and to West Bengal in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan.
The plan is for the remaining work on the building to be completed by the end of September, and then to gradually bring the volunteer teams back in and resume both filter production and box packing during October.
“The move has been quite an upheaval, but when it’s completed we will have a building which has been designed entirely around our needs,” said Aquabox chairman Roger Cassidy. “We will be better placed to welcome visitors, better equipped to support our volunteers, and ultimately better able to send out more aid to people in need around the world.”