BORDERS College students are delivering medicine to vulnerable people’s homes during lockdown.
A total of 37 students and staff have given up their time to drop off more than 180 prescriptions across the region.
The college’s work placement co-ordinator Verity Hislop said: “The students are quite happy to do it – they enjoy it.”
The college is working with NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council to run the scheme, which is being led by Ms Hislop.
She said: “Although we’ve no direct contact with the individuals we’re delivering to, we get a wave or a smile or a thank you from a distance.
“And we certainly know they are appreciative, from the expression on their face.
“If we didn’t deliver, they wouldn’t be able to get their medicines.
“These are individuals who fall into the vulnerable group – they’ve been told by the NHS they need to isolate.
“There was a huge demand on pharmacies and a lot of individuals in various communities fall into the vulnerable category.
“We sent out a call to staff and students – but only those who are PVG (protecting vulnerable groups) scheme members.
“All the Borders staff fall under that, and also the health and social care students.”
Originally, pharmacies notified the NHS Borders Transport Hub about prescriptions that needed to be picked up.
But now pharmacies are contacting the Borders College delivery team directly with their requests.
“The Transport Hub emailed me with requests for prescription pick-ups from the pharmacy,” said Ms Hislop, “and then I would arrange for volunteers to go to the pharmacies, pick up the prescription and deliver them to the people who needed them.
“But now we’re getting phone calls directly from the pharmacies, with the increase in demand.”
She added: “Borders College sees its role as supporting our community and during these unprecedented times there is a desire to contribute and add value by volunteering.
“The college is exceptionally proud and grateful to everyone who is involved. This collaborative mission helps to protect vulnerable groups within the community and potentially saves lives.
“A huge thank you to all the volunteers, NHS Borders and NHS Transport Hub.”