3,300 miles to help vulnerable in community

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Oban rotarians clocked up nearly 3,300 miles going to the aid of vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The Rotary Club of Oban formed a Covid-19 action group chaired by Ronnie Forbes,  with group secretary Ciorsti Baxter liasing with Argyll and Bute Council.

Members included rotarians Alan Hoar, William Lockwood, junior vice president Lachie Beaton and past presidents Ronnie Neil and Tommy McQuade.

Statistics after five months of volunteering have now underlined just how much the group helped some of the area’s most vulnerable people.

There for you.

The team delivered 162 medical prescriptions to people shielding and fulfilled more than 50 shopping requests. More than £670 was raised and more than 200 food parcels delivered. In total, the team clocked up 3,290 miles helping people during lockdown.

Past president and club treasurer Roger Parry also said club members raised £4,360 which has been passed to Hope Kitchen, which helps the most vulnerable people in the community by providing advice, food, comfort and company.

Recently-appointed Oban president Kees Van Rein has also handed over a £200 cheque to Oban’s Martyn’s Monday Club.

Laura McDonald, Covid-19 response co-ordinator for Argyll and Bute Council, has formally thanked the group and the club for its outstanding efforts.

Club members worked closely with Argyll and Bute Council.

Secretary Ciorsti Baxter has been tasked with reporting to the Scottish Government on the response.

President Kees said: ‘It is increasingly important the Rotary Club of Oban dedicates itself in helping to get past the worst effects of Covid-19, particularly as we head towards winter coughs and colds. Our members will continue to help in any way we can to counter the effects of Covid-19 locally.

‘Like it or not, it will define my presidential year but I am fully committed to giving  every effort to support our fantastic Argyll and Bute community during this pandemic.

‘The West Highlands and Islands is a special place with a great sense of self and place. We have faced much hardship in the past and will get through this together, I have no doubt.’

The club thanked Oban Distillery for providing much-needed and, at the time, very scarce – hand sanitiser. All unused sanitiser has been passed to Oban Girl Guides.

Anyone wishing to join the Rotary Club of Oban should contact membership secretary and past president Douglas Small at wmdouglassmall@gmw.co.uk or any current club member.