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Charity support still open to elderly needing a helping hand


Even with Covid 19 restrictions around social distancing and isolating, elderly charity LEAP is still managing to help people with emergency handyperson work and vital personal shopping services.

When NHS Lanarkshire called LEAP about Ian Macdonald, an outpatient from East Kilbride, who was being supplied with a hospital bed at home, it stepped in to help out.

Father and son Stuart and Calum McGregor were soon at Ian’s home to take his old bed to bits and make space for the new hospital bed to be delivered.

Stuart, LEAP’s executive director, and Calum had both been working and living at home so were able to work together - taking the appropriate safety measures – when two people were needed for any emergency work.

Ian said: “I have motor neurone disease and the neurological team from Udston Hospital wanted me to have a special bed to help as my old bed wasn’t suitable.

“I was in real pain not being able to sit up or get the proper support. I didn’t think anything could be done because neither Margaret, my wife, nor I were able to do anything, but one call to LEAP was all it needed.

“Stuart and Calum came out, dismantled my old bed and moved it out the room so the NHS could deliver my new one.

“It’s made a great difference to me and I’m really grateful to LEAP for doing this. Margaret and I can’t thank them enough.”

The charity has also added personal shopping services to its offer of support.

Joe Campbell, who lives in St Leonard’s, is one of LEAP’s many volunteers. But between handyperson jobs and keeping in touch with the person he befriends, he’s also helping the charity’s personal shopper service.

Joe said: “As soon as I heard about the new service, I volunteered to be part of it. I really enjoy it, and I’m finally getting used to what aisle everything is in.

“If there’s something in particular that someone wants – a particular brand of coffee for example – I phone the person and confirm where they usually buy it. A single shop can take more than an hour, so knowing where someone usually shops means you’re not standing on more than one queue.

“I’ve done around 30 shops and pharmacy deliveries now and, when I couldn’t buy someone soil for their new tomato plants I gave them the last of my wife’s soil. At least I’m able to replace that.”

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