East Ayrshire’s care homes supported by volunteers

Volunteers from across East Ayrshire have been busy helping out local care homes over the last few months, at a time when they’ve needed it most.

Recognising that care homes needed additional support, East Ayrshire Council made contact with all 19 homes across East Ayrshire to give an open offer of assistance from volunteers to take on tasks such as shopping for residents’ personal items, pharmacy collections and the distribution of PPE. These were tasks which were taking staff away from the care setting where they were desperately needed.

Out of the 19 care homes, 11 took up the offer of support and named volunteers were immediately assigned. Prior to Covid-19, these volunteers had been undertaking a different role and were already PVG checked. They were asked to make direct contact with the care homes to introduce themselves and to confirm practical arrangements. Volunteers were provided with a briefing note on their role which reinforced the national guidance on social distancing and they were also provided with a volunteer name badge and PPE appropriate to their role.  

As well as the initial requests for assistance, some of the care homes also made additional requests for things like entertainment for residents, gardening and writing letters to residents. Support from volunteers is currently ongoing and will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Pauline Perratt from Burnfoot House Care Home in Patna said: “I would just like to say that this service has been a blessing to us knowing that every week we can rely on someone to pick up our PPE at this busy time. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has volunteered to support the care homes at this time.”

Cara Smith who has been helping two of the care homes in East Ayrshire said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to support the care homes in any way I can.  I hope I have been able to make their jobs a little easier by helping when needed.”

Another of the volunteers who has been supporting Grange Care Home in Kilmarnock said: “I've been enjoying my time doing the residents' shopping at Grange Care Home. It certainly has been a mixture of items they've been requesting. It’s good to see that they are still enjoying the ‘sweeter’ side of life, and keeping up appearances - new nighties and nail polish are important! It seems to be such a ‘trivial’ thing, doing shopping, but it’s needed to keep a routine going for the residents, some of whom will be finding these times strange and worrying. I've been delighted to have had the chance to contribute something to the community during this pandemic.”