The Health Secretary has thanked volunteers for their “huge contribution” to the vaccine rollout.

More than 25,000 hours have been contributed by volunteers to help with the national vaccination programme through a scheme organised by the British Red Cross.

Humza Yousaf has now thanked those who have given up their time and the volunteers involved in a community testing programme who have been delivering test kits to approximately 4,000 homes across Glasgow.

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Mr Yousaf said: “It is fitting that during National Volunteers’ Week we acknowledge the huge contribution made by volunteers to our vaccination rollout.

“I want to thank each and every one of them for giving up their time and helping to ensure the successful rollout of the largest vaccination programme the country has ever seen.

“The hub being coordinated by the British Red Cross helps ensure we have people in the right place at the right time to make everything run as smoothly as possible.

HeraldScotland: Army volunteers at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh monday as the NHS driv-thru vaccination centre prepares to open wednesday..Pic Gordon Terris/ Times.5/2/21 Edinburgh...

“It is down to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams around the country that more than two million people in Scotland have now received both doses. I am grateful to them and all those who have taken up their offer of a vaccine.

“The vaccination programme is one of the main ways – along with restrictions and testing – that we are working to beat this virus and so it is crucial that everyone attends for their appointments when they are offered.

“This is equally important for those receiving appointments for their second dose as these offer longer-lasting protection against Covid-19.”

British Red Cross director for Scotland, Marie Hayes, said: “The response from the voluntary sector throughout the pandemic has been outstanding.

“Thousands of individuals, many of whom have never volunteered before, have turned out to support the NHS and local authorities and, importantly, their communities as we collectively act to beat the Covid virus.

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“The tasks undertaken have been very varied. Some of these include shopping and prescription collections, a friendly voice on the phone, marshalling at vaccination clinics, test kit distribution and collection.

“It has been quite remarkable to see so many come forward to help in whatever way they can.

“The endeavours of the volunteers over the past months has, without doubt, helped reach those most in need during this pandemic and I have no doubt these act of human kindness, great or small, will continue until we finally see an end to the current situation.”

British Red Cross Community Reserve Volunteer David Hardacre said: “I had never volunteered before and signed up through the Scotland Cares site.

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“I have really enjoyed my time as a volunteer. It can be challenging at times hearing how difficult some folk are finding all this with Covid but it surprising what a chat and a friendly smile can do to lift their spirits.

“I have helped with a few things, including the vaccination clinics, which is great. You really feel part of the team, the NHS staff are so helpful and calm.

“I will continue to help so long as there is a need for me.”