ScotRail is helping keep Scotland’s coronavirus vaccination programme on track by providing free travel tickets to around 100 St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers.
That’s in addition to the train operator’s ongoing commitment to revise its timetables to make sure as many key workers as possible are able to use the train to get to and from their work.
The latest scheme, which starts today (10 March) is in partnership with the St Andrew’s First Aid charity and allows their volunteers, from across the Central belt to get free train travel to and from vaccination hubs in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
The volunteers, some of whom are as young as 17 years of age, are completing around 140 shifts per week at the five hubs, so the complimentary tickets mean they can get to their COVID-19 clinics safely and without cost to themselves or the charity.
The centres are at Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the Royal Highland Centre, the RBS Younger Building, Queen Margaret University in East Lothian, and Pyramids Business Park in West Lothian.
The St Andrew’s team will be at the centres to provide first aid cover to those who need it. They will deal with a variety of first aid related issues. In addition to anyone taking a reaction or feeling unwell, they will also be on hand for slips, trips, accidents or anything else that should happen to anyone working at, or visiting, the sites.
Volunteers will use a travel pass and letter of authority specially produced by the train operator, which will, initially, be valid for five months.
James Ledgerwood, ScotRail Head of Economic & Community Development, said:
“We’re proud of our partnership with St Andrew’s First Aid and that we are working together to help get the country moving again.
“Many of the volunteers have joined the charity due to the personal loss of family members and friends, so they have a deep desire to help people in need of potentially life-saving vaccinations.
“ScotRail staff are going the extra mile to help key workers during this health crisis and it’s only right that we do what we can to make sure vital volunteers are able to travel to do their important work at vaccination hubs across Central Scotland.”
Stuart Callison, St Andrew’s First Aid Chief Executive, said:
“St Andrew’s First Aid is grateful to ScotRail for their support during this time.
“We are proud to be supporting NHS Lothian’s efforts in the mass rollout of the vaccine and this gesture goes a long way to support our volunteers who give up their own time to work at the frontline.”
Hilary Cameron, Head of Rail Franchise Unit, said:
“ScotRail has been at the forefront of ensuring services continue to run for key workers and we welcome their ongoing efforts.
“We are happy to support this great initiative offering free travel for St. Andrew’s First Aid volunteers.
“They are giving up their own time to assist the vaccine programme roll-out and it is right they should not be out of pocket for doing so.”