Sports superstars have delivered 1,300 prescriptions – the service is now winding down
Volunteers thanked for bridging the gap between pharmacies and self-isolating patients
An amazing 1,300 prescriptions have been delivered by sports men and women from across the Cherwell District to self-isolating people during this year’s coronavirus pandemic. This Friday is the last day of the initiative, which was created to reduce pressure on pharmacies by using local athletes as the link between pharmacies and patients.
Over the last few months men and women from several sports clubs have united to ensure medications are delivered to those who have been unable to leave their homes. The runners and riders have covered a combined distance of 4,300 miles – the equivalent of running from Banbury to Turkey and back.
Volunteers from Banbury Harriers Athletics Club, Banbury Star Cyclists’ Club and Alchester Running Club in Bicester have cycled and run their way to locations across the area. The initiative was part of Cherwell District Council’s Oxfordshire Supply Runs service. A similar scheme has run in Kidlington.
Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said: “This impressive scheme goes right to the heart of what community is all about. At times of extreme difficulty, we’ve seen volunteers who have really gone the extra mile, supporting the most vulnerable people in our district by delivering essential medication. I can’t thank them enough for their efforts in taking part in this excellent project.”
The scheme is now drawing to a close in Banbury and Bicester, with many people who had been shielding now able to leave their homes. Many of the athletic volunteers are also returning to work.
Robert Kerr, Chairman of Alchester Running Club has helped to organise the service throughout Bicester. Robert said: “I never had to wait longer than two minutes to get a positive response for a pickup and delivery, which tells you how the club has reacted to the scheme. If we have helped in a small way to easing some patients lives, then that is gratifying.”
Paul Dean, President of Banbury Star Cyclists’ Club said: “The delivery scheme has allowed the 30 volunteer riders to continue riding their bikes, enjoy the great weather and very light traffic conditions whilst making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of so many residents. Along the way we’ve met some wonderful residents who have greatly appreciated the continuity of their medical supplies and also helped further raise the profile of the club and cycling in general.”
James Charles, Vice Chairman of Banbury Harriers Athletics Club said: “Being part of this initiative has been a real highlight for the club. At a very difficult time, our members have come together and made a real difference to people’s lives. We’ve covered countless miles and visited areas of the town we’ve never been to before. I am extremely proud of everyone who’s been a part of Oxfordshire Supply Runs.”
Whilst the service will finish this weekend Cherwell has committed to restart the initiative if needed. They are encouraging anyone who is still unable to leave the house after July, and have no means of collecting their medication, to contact the dedicated shielding helpline on 01865 89 78 20 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also request help from NHS Volunteer Responders at www.goodsamapp.org or calling 0808 196 3646.
You can listen to Alex Grout talking to Paul Dean from Banbury Star Cycling Club about the service here:
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam