A LIFELINE transport service for frail and elderly Borderers will be stepped up thanks a funding boost from the Health Lottery.
The £37,500 which the local WRVS (formerly Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) has been awarded will enhance the transport and shopping service, delivered by about 200 volunteers.
The announcement was made last week by the People’s Health Trust, the independent charity responsible for deciding where cash raised by the lottery, the first draw for which was held earlier this month, is most needed. Under the catetgory of Healthy Places, Healthy People, the award will allow the Jedburgh-based WRVS to undertake more journeys for its clients who are generally referred by Scottish Borders Council’s social work department.
“It’s wonderful news and quite historic, given that this is the inaugural grants programme of the Health Lottery,” said Jean Trench, south of Scotland service delivery manager for WRVS.
The grant, added to financial support from Age Scotland, will allow the charity to step up its shopping service as well as the transporting of older people to and from hospital and medical appointments.
“We will pay the fuel costs of the volunteers who use their own cars to take our service-users on shopping trips,” Mrs Trench said.
She added: “Some of us may think of the weekly shop as a chore, but for many old people living alone it is something they really look forward to, allowing them to get out of the house and enjoy company. It’s a key part of our ethos of allowing people to lead independent lives, but not in isolation.”
Mrs Trench said WRVS in the Borders was always keen to recruit more volunteers with their own vehicles.
Anyone interested in lending a hand or seeking more information about WRVS should contact shopping and transport co-ordinator Lukasz Bogus at the Jedburgh office, 5 High Street phone 01835 864 789.