A YEAR 9 pupil from King Edward’s Witley is helping to ease the shortage of hand sanitiser in his local community by producing the essential antibacterial cleanser in his back garden.

Christopher Hooper, 13, is from Chichester and usually boards at King Edward’s Witley. He has been making isopropanol hand sanitiser to a formula released by the World Health Organisation using ingredients kindly funded by his parents.

To date he has produced and supplied hand sanitiser to protect more than 100 people during lockdown, while still continuing his education via King Edward’s dedicated distance learning programme.

The sought-after sanitiser has been given to friends, family, key workers and others in need, including 25 litres to a care home and further quantities to a doctor, an orthodontist and even the chaplain of the University of Chichester. So far Christopher has made and bottled a total of 80 litres.

The schoolboy said: “It is not always possible to wash our hands when we are out of the house buying food or for people who have to go to work like our postman.

“This sanitiser just evaporates off your hands so can be used anywhere.

“I wanted to help keep people safe and this was a practical way I could contribute. I enjoyed measuring and mixing the chemicals and giving the bottles away.

“People seemed very grateful for it and I have had a number of requests for additional supplies.”

Dan Tobias, housemaster of Edward House – the house to which Christopher belongs – at King Edward’s Witley, added: “We are extremely proud of Christopher and full of admiration for his decision to use his spare time so productively, taking such care to deliver a quality end product.

“His actions will go some way to providing much-needed personal protection during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Christopher’s efforts have attracted media attention including BBC Radio Surrey, who picked up the news on social media before interviewing him live on air.