Purchase of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle thanks to Generous Grant
By Susan Hamilton and Judith Haw
In October 2020, Erskine, Scotland’s largest Veteran’s charity, received a generous grant of £25,000 from the Officers Association Scotland.
The grant was awarded for the purchase of a wheelchair accessible, Covid-19 compliant, Volkswagen Caddy for use by Erskine care home residents.
Fast forward to April 2021 and the specially adapted Caddy is on the road. The benefits the new vehicle brings to Veterans with the continued delivery of a number of key services is immeasurable.
The much loved regular outings to a wide variety of places of interest, when it is safe to do so once more; transportation to and from hospital/clinical appointments; operation of our family and friends pick-up and drop-off visiting scheme; transportation of respite residents from and to their own homes upon admission to Erskine and discharge; and collection of residents’ prescriptions, hearing aid drop-off are but a few ways in which the new vehicle will be used.
This provision of adapted, fully accessible resident transport will ensure all residents, regardless of ability, can participate in offsite activities of benefit to their overall well-being.
Commenting on the donation, Erskine Chief Executive, Ian Cumming, said: “Erskine is renowned for the provision of sector leading care services for elderly Veterans and their spouses, but we can only achieve this through the generosity and commitment of our donors.
“We are therefore extremely grateful to the Trustees of Officers Association Scotland for this substantial grant and their wonderful support of our care home residents.
“The availability of this new, specially adapted Caddy will enable the ongoing delivery of our vital resident transport service and ensure our Veterans’ safety and comfort when travelling to places of meaning and interest, attending hospital appointments and more. I send our heartfelt thanks to everyone at Officers Association Scotland for their kind and much appreciated donation.”
All Erskine’s new vehicles purchased be either fully electric or hybrid.
Meanwhile, this Earth Day, Erskine thought it was a perfect time to reveal some of the many environmental measures which have in place with the purpose of helping protect the planet.
A spokesperson said they have:
- Installed solar panels on our new apartments (which are soon to open) as part of the design and to reduce carbon emissions
- Commenced a vehicle replacement programme which will see all new vehicles purchased be either fully electric or hybrid. We currently have two hybrid cars and within the next 12 months will have a third, so our entire car fleet for staff will be hybrid by mid-2022. We are looking to replace our wheelchair converted multi-purpose vehicles to hybrid as models become available.
- Installed water monitoring systems in areas to minimise waste and maximise efficiencies. We no longer supply plastic cups at our water dispensers to reduce plastic and encourage staff and visitors to use reusable water bottles.
- We are progressing with a light replacement programme which will see all of our light fittings be energy efficient LED by 2025
- When offices are not in use, we ask staff to ensure heating is turned off and we ask colour photo-copying only to be used if completely necessary
- We offer a cycle to work scheme for staff which includes help with the purchase of a bicycle for travelling to work. Less vehicles on the road is better for the environment.
Our planet matters and it is our duty to do everything we can to protect it #EarthDay2021
To find out more about Erskine’s work please visit our website at http://www.erskine.org.uk, follow on twitter @ErskineCharity via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ErskineVeteransCharity or listen to Erskine Veterans Radio at Erskine.org.uk/radio