Borders College Wellbeing Adviser Helen Chisholm and her husband Robin are helping do their bit for the community during the lockdown. Read their story below:
COVID-19 lockdown has provided many challenges for all of us but the local community has come together to solve some of the issues. In Melrose, Martin Baird Butchers, Purple Plum (fruit shop), the Country Kitchen and Premier Store have joined together to provide a home delivery service for those who are not able to visit the shops in person.
Volunteers were needed to help with this service and Eildon Housing Association had already asked their staff to help out where needed, as had Borders College. I and my husband Robin Chisholm, who is a Maintenance Officer with the Association, were happy to take the deliveries using Eildon’s van.
From Monday to Friday, Team Chisholm has been out and about delivering fruit, vegetables, meat and other essentials to many houses in the surrounding area. We have delivered to Clovenfords, Galashiels, Midlem, Lilliesleaf, Bowden, Newstead, Darnick, Gattonside, Newtown, Melrose and beyond. Orders are phoned in, paid for, made up and then ready for the uplift.
People require these lifeline deliveries for a number of reasons. Some are self-isolating due to their age; others shielding for twelve weeks for medical reasons; some because they are going through treatment and need to limit contact, and others because they have young children. These are in addition to people who are unable to get to the shops under normal circumstances due to being housebound. Some former members of College staff were surprised when they responded to a knock on their door to find me standing there, two metres away of course!
Martin Baird Butchers are not only licensed but provide readymade meals which are frozen and can then be popped into your oven for 45 minutes before the food is ready. Dining out at home!
People have been so grateful and appreciative. One customer said:
“I have to rely on this service for weeks to come as my age prevents me from going out.”
Another was quick to point out:
“What a wonderful place Melrose is and always pulls together when needed.”
Finding some addresses has been a little challenging at times but fortunately, Robin and I have good local knowledge, which is rapidly increasing as the weeks go by. Robin is the driver and refers to me as his “Sat Nav.”
We will be keeping up the good work for the foreseeable future and look forward to keeping our customers stocked up and happy. Stay safe everyone!