Community heroes have been praised for their amazing efforts to help others as extreme weather caused chaos across East Renfrewshire.

Towns and villages ground to a halt last week as ‘the Beast from the East’ brought Siberian-style conditions.

A red weather warning was issued in East Renfrewshire for the first time in history, with all schools and nurseries closed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as people were advised not to head outdoors.

The blizzard conditions also turned roads into no-go zones, with public transport put into deep freeze as buses and trains were unable to run.

And the disruption continued into the weekend, as panic buying left some shops with empty shelves.

However, the challenging conditions also brought out the best in people across East Renfrewshire, with many going to the aid of others in need of help.

In some cases, drivers with 4x4 vehicles volunteered to help get NHS staff to work, while many others played their part by clearing paths and pavements for those who were unable to manage by themselves.

Among those who went above and beyond the call of duty was Barrhead nurse Lewis Harvey, who endured a three-hour walk home after staying to complete his shift at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital as public transport was forced off the roads.

Lewis, 25, who works as an auxiliary nurse in a surgical ward, was left with ice on his beard and eyebrows after battling through the snow on foot to complete his journey home to Waulkmill Avenue.

He said: “The weather wasn’t really bad on my way to work but, during the night, we saw the snow lying heavier and heavier in and around the hospital.

“Naturally, a growing concern had started as to whether the day staff would make it in, as many live further afield.

“I was informed buses were not running and, after calling three taxi firms, I knew then it was highly unlikely I was going to be able to get transport home.”

Lewis admits his long walk home will live long in the memory.

He added: “By the time I reached home, the bottom of my trousers were no longer wet but frozen and I had ice on my beard and eyebrows.

“When I was walking, I checked my phone and it was minus five degrees Celsius.

“After getting home, I checked my work chat and, thankfully, the majority of the staff had made it in, with some travelling for more than three hours.

“Hats off to all the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde staff.”

Anne MacPherson, director of human resources at NHSGGC, is full of praise for Lewis and the area’s other health heroes.

She said: “We are greatly appreciative of the efforts made by our staff to care for patients in the most challenging of circumstances.”