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Patch Works: Co-Women Meet the Stores Helping You Through Lockdown

How much do you know about the supplements you should be taking daily? Are you averse to taking capsules and pills? I met with Sadie Roberts from Patchworks to find out more about alternative solutions to keep your health topped up, particularly in lockdown.

Please tell us about your business and what you offer?

I set up PatchWorks to make it easier for people in the UK & EU to buy topical vitamin patches, that were previously only available from America.

I was recommended the patches whilst receiving treatment for chronic illness at a clinic in Florida. They were much better and easier to use than the oral supplements I'd been taking.

The patches cover all the usual vitamins and supplements - B12, Multi Vitamin, Iron, D3 etc, plus specialist formulations for things like; allergy relief, menopause, immune support...

How long have you been based in Brighton?

We moved to Brighton in 2001, then moved to Hong Kong where we lived for 5 years and returned at the very end of 2012. Even though I'm originally from Wales and have friends and family all over the country, there isn't anywhere else in the UK I'd want to live. Before we moved home from Hong Kong my husband would try and show me all these great houses on RightMove, from all over the country, but I refused to even look at them unless they were around here.

What challenges has your business faced since we went into lockdown?

I feel sheepish to say it, but as our products are related to health and immunity, our sales greatly increased at the beginning of lockdown. That brought challenges of fulfilling orders and keeping on top of stock levels - particularly trying to gauge if the increase would continue. Stock levels are always our biggest headache, no matter how much you analyse previous sales, we've always got too much of something and not enough of another, so this was compounded over March and April. I've given up on spreadsheets and have resorted to astrology to try and forecast stock requirements.

Would you say that the Support Local Facebook group and Support Local website have been a help to your business?

How local businesses have been hunkering down and propping each other up has been fantastic. That's also been the case with the public too, taking more time to try and buy locally where they can, the Facebook group and website have been invaluable at making this easier for them to do so.

What advice would you give to anyone who is struggling right now?

For businesses, this isn't like 2008 where the affected were left to fold (unless you were too big to fail, of course). The Government knows the economy will bounce back when lock down lifts, that's why they're offering so much support to tide companies over. I've been planning so PatchWorks is prepared for the bounce back. If you don't know what support is available to you, get in touch with your local authority and your bank. They've now simplified applications and support is available to all.

For individuals, don't beat yourself up over ALL THE THINGS you SHOULD be doing, but aren't. I've got teacher friends who aren't able to homeschool their own kids (too busy teaching the kids they're paid to teach) so if the professionals are struggling, cut yourself some slack.

Surround yourself in an anti 'media fear' forcefield. We're bombarded day in day out with stats based on fear, we hardly ever hear the positive flipside of those stats that will be the reality for the majority of us. We're also not being told how we can help ourselves by boosting our immune systems.

Here are some tips:

Vitamins; A, C, D and zinc are proven immunity boosters, so make sure you're getting those.

Good food choices (a girl can't live on lockdown banana bread alone), you know the score - veg, fruit, good fats and your chosen protein sources.

Daylight and nature. There are so many studies on how these improve our wellbeing. I was reading an interesting one the other day which showed that hospital patients with a green view from their window healed almost twice as quickly as those without.

Whatever helps you destress. Stress and attitude have the biggest negative impact on our wellbeing (greater than diet, exercise etc). Be sure to jimmy into your day whatever your go-to de-stressing activity is, it doesn't have to be formal - I'm off now to sit in the garden with my snack and stare at some trees!

What happy song makes you dance in your kitchen?!

I'm an old raver so anything by The Prodigy, or some 90s Hip Hop.

Anything further you'd like to tell us?

Keep keeping on, we will prevail!

To find out more, visit

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