EAST Renfrewshire’s army of volunteers have been hailed for caring for others during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 1,500 local volunteers stepped forward to offer support to vulnerable people within their communities after the spread of coronavirus led to lockdown.

These community champions have delivered prescriptions and shopping to more than 800 residents, made reusable face masks and scrubs and supported people in need over the phone.

A dedicated Community Hub was set up by Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VAER), together with East Renfrewshire Council and Health and Social Care Partnership, to co-ordinate the local response.

Now a campaign – #ThankYouEastRen – is taking place across social media channels operated by East Renfrewshire Council and VAER, with posters and banners also being displayed across the area, to honour all those who have rallied round.

Ruth Gallagher, VAER’s chief officer, said: “Volunteering is not new in East Renfrewshire but the team at VAER has been blown away by the number of compassionate, caring, wonderful people coming forward to help in whatever way possible during this challenging time.

“The residents of East Renfrewshire care about each other and will continue to support each other when this situation passes.”

More than 1,200 calls have been received by the team at the Community Hub, supported by volunteers and dozens of local organisations and Facebook groups delivering much-needed support and services in their area.

Elsewhere, a Humanitarian Hub set up in Barrhead by council chiefs and staffed by volunteers and council workers redeployed from other roles has delivered more than 1,500 food packs to residents in the most at-risk category.

Council leader Tony Buchanan has used National Volunteers’ Week, which runs until Sunday, to thank all those who have pulled together to help family, friends and neighbours.

He told the Barrhead News: “We couldn’t have imagined life being turned upside down the way it has due to this global pandemic but the response by our communities has been absolutely phenomenal and humbling."