Fish Trawler Elgin owner Ian McCallion (61) providing free supplies for Dr Gray's staff
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A BUCKIE man is going above and beyond to provide supplies of free food and drink to local NHS staff.
Ian McCallion (61) is well-known for running Fish Trawler Elgin – a van which sells fresh fish locally.
Now, while continuing to work during the day, Mr McCallion is using his van to deliver to Dr Gray's staff in Elgin at night.
The idea is to save workers having to go to the shops after a long shift, and came about after he was struck by an emotional nurse on the national news.
Ian told the Northern Scot: "The reason I started doing this was because Moray Food Plus had a shortage of food.
"This was when all of the supermarkets were being raided and there was nothing left for the foodbank. I was going around in my van, selling fish, and collecting for the foodbank.
"But then I saw a nurse on the TV crying because she couldn't get anything from the shops. So I decided that, instead of giving it all to the foodbank, I would take some food and toilet roll to Dr Gray's too.
"I was going to go Dr Gray's mornings and nights for a month, but now I'm heading up at 6.30pm every night, and staying until about 8.10pm."
Ian provides one litre bottles of milk, bottles of juice, fruit, eggs and, once or twice a week, cupcakes. He takes the left-overs to The Oaks palliative care day hospital.
The help is much appreciated by those at Dr Gray's, he said, especially with the shops inside the hospital closed at the moment.
"It's worked well up until now," Ian added. "The manager is over the moon – she says it's fantastic.
"The stuff I give away is all for free – it's not for their messages.
"It's so doctors and nurses don't have to go away up and queue at a supermarket after a long shift."
Ian bought a new van for the venture – which cost him £2600. He uses that for collecting the food, and his usual fish van for the distribution.
Robertson Construction and Jack Carmichael Flooring came together to help fit and pay for a new non-slip floor and shelves in the van – for which Ian was more than grateful.
He also thanked Walkers, C+R Taxis, Moray Food Plus, Booker Wholesale and Elgin's Orchard for their help.
Ian's next project, called Square Up Moray, is aiming to help local families hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis.
Tickets are not up for sale yet, but the plan is to get as many prizes together as possible and host a raffle at Dr Gray's in June.
Any local business that can donate prizes should get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Facebook at Fish trawler Elgin.
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