As Volunteers’ Weeks is underway, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra is celebrating a successful trip to Oban delivering food packages to a local community group last month, and gearing up for a second delivery expedition to Dunoon this week.
Last month the RSNO’s Stage and Production Manager, Craig Swindells, who can typically be found driving the Orchestra’s large truck across Scotland between concerts, was instead tasked with delivering half a dozen large pallets of food to Hope Kitchen in Oban. Following the successful trip, the RSNO’s Deputy Stage Manager, Michael Cameron, will head up to Dunoon this weekend to help deliver goods to a local foodbank there.
As concerts across the country have been cancelled due to the lockdown, the RSNO had the idea to volunteer the use of the truck to charities in need of help. Craig registered on the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland Cares’ volunteering register and was then put in touch with Fareshare Glasgow to help transport food across the country.
The RSNO is encouraging other charities and organisations in need of transport support to get in touch with local volunteer organisations, who can arrange for the iconic truck to get back on the road to help them out.
Chief Executive of the RSNO Alistair Mackie said: “This pandemic is hitting some people really hard, and we think it is so important to take part in the national effort that is needed to fight this virus. We are Scotland’s National Orchestra and while it’s not safe to pack the truck full of instruments and play concerts right now, we can instead do our bit to help charities and groups that need some logistics support.”
Craig Swindells, RSNO Stage and Production Manager, said: “It feels great to be able to help people right now because we can all see the devastating impact the virus is having across communities. There are some great people doing all they can to help, and the teams at Move On and FareShare were superb in organising this foodbank delivery. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the road with the Orchestra one day, but for now it feels great to be giving back to the people of Scotland.”
Jim Burns, Director of Operations at FareShare Glasgow & West Scotland, said: “FareShare is committed to ramping up its support throughout the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath, getting vital food supplies each week to charities and community groups across the region. We’re grateful to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for generously giving their time volunteering with us during such a critical time. By transporting food to our charity member Hope Kitchen in Oban, their support meant vulnerable people in Oban, Iona and Mull were able to access essential food that is needed now more than ever."