Bedford business accused of ‘cashing in’ on coronavirus

Provident House coronavirus workshop
The promotional image used to advertise the event

A Bedford business, hosting a coronavirus (COVID-19) event this evening, has been criticised for cashing in on scaremongering surrounding the virus.

Provident House on Harpur Street is hosting the Coronavirus Workshop at 6.30pm this evening. The cost of the event is £20.

The event information states, “With all the panic buying it’s incredibly difficult and expensive to buy hand sanitizer – and this is only going to get worse!

“This 1 hour workshop will show you how to make your own surgical grade hand sanitizer with organic aloe vera. Make your own and take home 2 bottles at the end of the workshop.


The promotional image features a picture of an NHS nurse.

A number of readers contacted the Bedford Independent to express their disgust at a business profiting from the global health crisis.

“The venue should be ashamed of themselves,” said one correspondent. “It feels like they are cynically profiteering from the hysteria around coronavirus.”

The Bedford Independent contacted Provident House for a comment.

Owner, Paul Johnstone, said, “The event isn’t run by Provident House, but as a popular local events venue we host/promote wide ranges of activities because we’re affordable and this workshop looks to be a fair price and quite popular.”

The Bedford Independent requested contact details for the organiser of the event, but Provident House did not respond.

Face masks are not recommended by Public Health England (PHE), the NHS or the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a means of protecting yourself against coronavirus.

According to Full Fact, the fact-checking charity, hand sanitisers with 60% alcohol content and above are effective against viruses, such as the new coronavirus, but soap and water is the best option.

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