The volunteers at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Give and Go service have been some of the pandemic’s unsung heroes but together with the bags of laundry and Lucozade they’ve been given to deliver, they have also had some unexpected items in the bagging area.
The delivery service has been a godsend for patients and loved ones alike at a time when visiting’s been restricted. Friends and family simply drop off items for patients and can also collect their dirty laundry.
Dr Margaret McGuire, NHSGGC’s Director of Nursing said: “I simply cannot put into words just what an invaluable part the Give and Go service has played in our Covid response. Sadly for many, many months our patients have not been able to have visitors, due to the risk of transmitting the virus.
“Not only is this lonely for patients but at the beginning it also meant they couldn’t get essentials like fresh pyjamas and their own drinks and toiletries. And then came the amazing response from our volunteers! We’ve had such positive feedback from patients and families about what a difference this has made for everyone. Well done and thank you.”
Over at Glasgow Royal Infirmary there are 83 volunteers helping to keep patients in touch with their families by delivering what they need most. However, there have been a few raised eyebrows at some of the more unusual items they have been asked to transport.
Louise Colquhoun is the Volunteer Manager who runs the service. She said: “We did expect to get the odd cigarette and lighter being smuggled in, but even we were surprised at what we got through the door!
“We have had a 55 inch telly, a microwave, and lots and lots of alcohol, some even ‘cleverly’ disguised. But we rumbled them all and returned them to their rightful owners.
“It’s been a long year for all my volunteers – we deliver around 1,000 items a week to patients. Our unusual drop-offs have kept us all on our toes and given us all a wee laugh.”
The volunteer army will continue to work across hospitals and sites through Christmas and New Year, with many of the deliveries already including festive treats and a few gifts before Santa makes his own appearance on the big day.
If you want to join the volunteers as part of the Give and Go service, please email [email protected]