Steven O’Carroll, owner of Bit’s N Pieces/Poundsworth in Northside Shopping Centre, Quayside Shopping Centre and Eglinton came up the initiative following a conversation with his son, ahead of schools returning last week.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’, Mr O’Carroll said: “The idea came about because my son attends St. Columb’s College, he’s a fifth year. He was just worried about everyone going back at the one time.
“He asked me if I could get him hand sanitiser, because the whole school was going back after the Easter break.
“I got talking to George from the Old Library Trust, as I would do a lot with the youth services, and came with the idea that wouldn’t it be great if every child had it.
“We couldn’t do primary schools as they are still a bit young, but it would be great if every secondary school child had some hand sanitiser, to give the parents a bit of piece of mind for the children going back.
“I would sell it anyway, so I got in contact with my suppliers, and ask if they could get me 12,000 of them which would cover the schools. I paid for it myself and distributed it myself.
“I wish I could do the whole of Northern Ireland, but I can’t, so I will cover Derry and Strabane council area.
“So far we have all of the schools in Derry covered, and we still are waiting on confirmation from Strabane schools.”