A YOUNG entrepreneur has been putting his skills to use by helping people in town who are struggling to find supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

British supermarkets have seen an influx in custom for supplies such as toilet paper, anti-bacterial wipes, hand soap, medication and dried goods.

Supermarket supplies are trying to prevent stockpiling of purchases by putting limits on items.

Shelves across the country have been stripped of such goods after Public Health England urged members of the public to “plan ahead” in case they had to self-isolate for a couple of weeks.

However, Charlie Ridley from Wigton took matters into his own hands and began selling toilet roll and kitchen roll at a discounted price.

Mr Ridley decided to start selling the products out of the back of his van on Water Street carpark, Wigton after hearing the news about their being no toilet rolls in his local area.

He explained: “It comes direct from suppliers in Lancaster.

“I think it’s very important to supply a service like this.”

Some residents raised concerns that Mr Ridley was profiting, cashing in off the misfortunes of others.

“Most people in Wigton know I’d do anything for anyone,” he continued.

“But for some people they just like to cause a fuss.

“If it was all for money I wouldn’t have given some away to a lady with no money.

“I’ve also asked a friend who works in a care home to contact me if they’re stuck and I’ll supply them for free.

“That’s the same for any care home in Wigton, I’ve also been delivering to the elderly who need it too.”

Mr Ridley’s normal day job consists of him being a general dealer, buying and selling items and he’s vowed to keep up this service until there is enough stock in shops for people to go and buy.

He added: “I have sold these sort of items before and I’ll certainly sell it again as long as there is a demand for them.

“I rely on shares of my friends to get business.

“I’ve also stated on Facebook anyone who needs it delivered I will also do that free of charge.

“I have stock sorted to keep me going for a while and I’m working around my scrap metal business.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that medical advice does not point to any need for the public to stockpile.

“We’ve had no advice from the scientific advisers or medical officers that there’s any need for people to buy stuff in,” he said.

Tesco was one of the first supermarkets to restrict the number of items customers could buy, with all others swiftly following suit.

The restrictions apply both online and in stores.

Customers have been told by the supermarket: “We know there’s demand for certain products at the moment and we’re working really hard to maintain availability of those to help customers.

“We’ve taken a commonsense approach to make sure everyone can access essentials.”