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New Master for the WCEC focuses on fight against Covid-19

The Chairman of a business which has been repivoted to make hospital gowns for the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic has been appointed as the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners (WCEC).

John Shonfeld founded laundry and garment manufacturing and rental business, Tibard Ltd, with his wife in 1979, from a bedroom in their family home.

The company now has a turnover of £18.5 million annually, employs 150 people and exports to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, China, the Mediterranean and a fast-growing market in the Caribbean.

In the past six weeks, Tibard has switched from producing chefs’ wear and uniforms to making up to 10,000 gowns a week – along with some shrouds – for use by medical staff in the UK and South Africa.

Shonfeld has replaced Barrie Torbett as Master of the WCEC for 2020 -21. There have also been several other new appointments for the year, with Torbett becoming Deputy Master, Gary Fage becoming Senior Warden, Jim Melvin as the new Junior Warden and Past Master Philip Morrish as the new Clerk.

Shonfeld said: “Staff and colleagues at Tibard have rallied to the national cause to keep the NHS supplied during the pandemic.

“In the space of just a few weeks, we have found new suppliers and changed our product lines and we are now working 12 hours a day to meet demand.

“I am delighted and honoured to become Master of the WCEC and looking forward to performing the role over the next year but, for the immediate future, we are firmly focused on doing our bit to help the fight against Coronavirus.”

Shonfeld is also a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Launderers.

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