Rotarians give their support

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Portlethen Rotary Senior Vice President Graham Knight was pleased to welcome the Chair of Portlethen Community Ambulance, Noreen Harding, to the weekly meeting of the club, held in the Newton Arms last Tuesday.

Noreen gave a short talk about the history and structure of the local voluntary ambulance service, which covers the same district area as the Portlethen and District Rotary Club, from just north of Stonehaven to Cove and Banchory Devenick in the north.

The ambulance, which has recently been replaced with a new model, is run on a completely voluntary basis and has been supported well by the local Rotarians in the past. The primary function is to transport patients to the Portlethen surgery but it is utilised on a much wider basis than that.

In addition to normal patient runs the vehicle and drivers take older and less able members of the area on outings every Monday afternoon and also support the lunch clubs in Portlethen and Newtonhill by picking up and transporting the attendees to their meetings. The same service is afforded to less able members of Portlethen Church on Sundays.

Ambulance volunteers also offer a prescription delivery service each week. A new Ambulance is bought every three years from voluntary support, fundraising and matching grant applications submitted by the committee.

In closing Noreen said that running the service and being part of its operation was an uplifting and feel good venture. One of the problems with finding enough volunteers to drive the bus is that most people join the service when they retire and unless applying for specific medical clearance when they become seventy they are required to retire yet again.

At the close of her talk she was presented with a cheque for £300, part of the sum earned by the club before Christmas through their participation in the annual Rotary Bon Accord Centre car raffle.