Press release

University welcomes donation from local MasterChef star

Published on 9 April 2020

Staff at the University of Dundee have benefited from a bulk donation of hand sanitiser from local MasterChef star Dean Banks.

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Although University campuses are currently closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some teams continue to work around the clock to carry out vital services. Whilst Life Sciences and Engineering teams take direct action to seek vaccinations for Covid-19, security, cleaning, and essential maintenance teams are providing critical support to enable those staff to continue to work safely on campus.

However, due to supplies being redirected to the NHS to help frontline workers, the University was facing a shortage of hand sanitiser for departments continuing to work on campus and reached out to MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Dean Banks.

Dean has been distributing hand sanitiser to those in need in and around the Dundee area. Using profits from his own gin brand, he has been buying the product in bulk from Arbroath distillery Distillutions, who are among many distillers in Scotland using their experience with alcohol production to make sanitiser to help battle coronavirus.

The University has already received a donation of 10 litres of hand sanitiser, which Director of Estates & Campus Services, Rose Jenkins, explained will greatly benefit her teams. She said, “We were struggling to get orders for hand sanitiser fulfilled for our own staff but thankfully Dean has been fantastic in quickly responding to our needs.

“He has provided a supply plus individual bottles that we have issued to Estates staff to help keep them safe.

“We are really grateful for his help at this time. His ability to transform his business to help others has been wonderful and is a great demonstration of how people from normally unconnected walks of life are coming together to help all levels of initiatives to tackle the pandemic.”

Dean, who owns HAAR restaurant in St Andrews, has been donating the sanitiser to a wide range of individuals and organisations in and around Dundee.

“I always want to help out in my community” he said. “Now more than ever, it’s massively important that our communities come together and help those providing vital services.

“It’s great to see the good side of big companies and small companies in local areas all helping and pitching in.”


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878
Story category Dundee/local community