Sandwich seller now earning a crust in a new way

Lorraine Pennington from Liverpool regularly sold her sandwiches to Bullen Healthcare but feared for her business when COVID-19 struck – but now she has a new role

Lorraine Pennington
Lorraine Pennington from Liverpool is now a driver for Bullen Healthcare


It’s not every day that you sell a sandwich to your next employer, but for Lorraine Pennington from Liverpool, that’s exactly what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lorraine had been delivering sandwiches to the offices of Bullen Healthcare at Brunswick Business Park for several years, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Facing a drastic drop in income for her business, a solution came from an unexpected source. The man she was selling a sandwich to.

“I just happened to be talking to Richie the warehouse manager while I was doing my usual rounds, and out of the blue he asked me if I would consider coming to work at Bullen as a driver,” said Lorraine.

“As well as knowing how important their service is to their customers, the fact that Bullen is an essential service and remained open during the lockdown was a key factor in my decision to join them.”

160-year-old Bullen provides an essential service to thousands of people across Merseyside and the UK, delivering stoma and urology products and medication prescriptions to patients’ homes. It’s a service which came under immense pressure during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing director, Paul Bullen, describes how the company has responded to the increased pressures of COVID-19. He said: “Taking on Lorraine was just part of the way we’ve had to adapt to the challenges of supplying our patients throughout the UK at a really difficult time.

“We were impressed by Lorraine’s drive and enthusiasm and knew she’d be a great member of the team. We’ve been recruiting people with all kinds of skills, to keep our home delivery service working effectively throughout the pandemic.”

As well as recruiting staff, Bullen has had to deal with challenges with their delivery partners and worries about potential delays with stock.

“To say it’s been challenging would be an understatement, but we know that our patients rely on us to deliver life-changing supplies and we just couldn’t let them down,” added Mr Bullen.

It has been a challenge which was also recognised by Bullens’ customers such as Gemma Willingham. She explained: During lockdown, we all had our own individual worries; for some it was the shops running out of pasta, toilet roll and hand sanitiser, but for me it was the worry of not having my stoma supplies.

“Throughout the lockdown however, Bullen continued to provide their usual high standards of customer care and reassurance to myself and many others.”

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