Moorland estates in the Lammermuir and Moorfoot hills have stepped in to supply PPE for Borders NHS workers, donating protective eyewear normally used on shoot days.
Members of the Southern Uplands Moorland Group decided to step up after becoming aware of national shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which can help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
At this time of year, estates have boxes of unopened safety glasses, ready to distribute them to sporting clients and employees on shoot days over the moors or for other estate work.
However, after discussing the round-the-clock efforts to supply protective equipment for frontline UK health staff, it was decided to donate as many of the safety glasses the estates could muster between them.
They also teamed up with Wilson Young of local business, Eskdale Shooting Services, to add protective face shields to the gift handed over to nurses at Borders General Hospital in Melrose.
Gamekeeper Craig Dickman was responsible for co-ordinating the effort and ensuring all Head Gamekeepers from 9 estates in the area could deliver what they had available.
In total, 471 pairs of safety glasses and 100 face shields have been donated, with Pam Kennedy, an NHS employee taking delivery of the equipment.
“A lot of estates have safety glasses for guests. On the estate I work on, all shoot staff including beaters and flankers are given them for protection and, given concerns about shortages of PPE, the estates felt it was appropriate to club together and give the hospital workers what we had,” said Gamekeeper Craig Dickman from Southern Uplands Moorland Group, who called around colleagues to organise the shipment.
“Along with Eskdale Shooting Services, we also managed to get some protective face shields. We just felt it could be put to good use just now, given the job nurses and hospital workers are doing in saving lives.”
Two separate shipments have now been made to the NHS Borders hospital in Melrose which is treating Coronavirus patients.
“After we made the first drop-off of 150 glasses we got a call direct from the hospital to say how good it was for staff morale,” added Mr Dickman. “They are doing an amazing job at a really, really difficult time.”
* The Southern Uplands Moorland Group donation is the latest example of estates going the extra mile to help the NHS. Cluny Estate in Laggan has donated 100,000 face masks to Highland Home Carers. Read the full story here: https://news.stv.tv/highlands-islands/highland-estate-gifts-100000-face-masks-to-care-workers?top