Commanding the kitchen in Eyemouth to help Covid-19 efforts

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By Angeline Sneddon

David And Jennifer


120 meals cooked up in eight hours, that's the busiest Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Commander David Girrity and his wife Jennifer have been in their new volunteer roles in Eyemouth where they live.

In the wake of Covid-19, the couple signed up to prepare food for Eyemouth Responders Team, which is part of Scottish Borders Council's Resilient Communities Initiative.

Food is donated to the local project by members of the public, supermarkets and government funded initiatives. Volunteers then cook a batch of meals, which are delivered to people in the community.

David and Jennifer volunteer two days a week for four hours at a time and they are thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

Group Commander David says: "It's a bit like Ready Steady Cook. Jennifer and I go to the local community centre to wait for the day's delivery of food before deciding what meals to make.

"It's great getting the opportunity to contribute to the community's efforts to support the vulnerable and the elderly who are self-isolating, but Jennifer and I are also really enjoying the cooking aspect and spending time together.

"We've made corn beef hash, macaroni cheese, chilli and fish pie, but we also try to provide desserts too and we've made banana muffins with custard and apple crumble.

"It's a real team effort. There are also volunteers who are cleaning up and others who deliver the food parcels along with medicine and other essential items."

As a humanitarian organisation, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is fully behind David's volunteering efforts in his community.

Stephen Gourlay, SFRS Local Senior Officer for East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, said: “This is a brilliant effort by everyone involved and we are really pleased to support David’s desire to help the most vulnerable people in his local community by preparing meals for them.

“Not only is the service working hard to protect all of our staff and the public during this challenging time, but David is an example of someone who wants to go above and beyond to help people out and that’s so commendable."

Scottish Borders Council leads the Resilient Communities Groups initiative in the area, with 57 active groups.

Jim Fraser, Emergency Planning Officer at Scottish Borders Council, said: “The Resilient Communities Groups across the Scottish Borders are providing vital assistance for some of our most vulnerable people, with Eyemouth Response Team providing excellent support in their community.

“At such a challenging time, it is pleasing to see large numbers of new volunteers come forward to join their local Resilient Communities Group to support their efforts, including from our partners in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“This service is a critical part of the Scottish Borders’ overall Coronavirus response and is greatly appreciated by the Council and the people they are assisting.”