STAFF from the maintenance division of a local housing association have been praised for a huge tidy-up during the pandemic.

Workers from Home Fix Scotland, an arm of River Clyde Homes, went flat out to keep the area tidy during the coronavirus outbreak.

As well as focusing on essential tasks they have clamped down on fly-tipping too and carried out over 2,000 emergency repairs.

They cleaned communal closes over 10,000 times and removed over 180 tonnes of rubbish from the streets of Inverclyde - equivalent to the same weight as two blue whales.

Tam Rough, contracts manager at Home Fix Scotland, said that this effort was all the more laudable given that many staff were redeployed or retrained in a variety of different roles while restrictions were in place.

Mr Rough said: "Everyone has felt the impact of Covid-19 and people across Inverclyde have been very supportive of our staff as they continued to provide a high level of service during these difficult times.

"The safety of our colleagues and the public has always been at the forefront of our planning, and careful consideration has been given to redesigning working practices to comply with the current guidance.

"While this has had an inevitable impact on our day-to-day services, it has remained critical that we focused our efforts on those in the greatest need, and the frontline services that people rely on."

As the lockdown eases, the teams from Home Fix Scotland are becoming more visible around Inverclyde and their work is not going unnoticed.

Since lockdown began, they have cut over 1,200,000 sq ft of grass - the equivalent of 168 football pitches - ensuring that those wishing to exercise, collect medication or go to their essential workplace can do so safely.

In wake of the Scottish Government easing COVID-19 regulations, the environmental team recently resumed a full service.

John Williams, head of operations at Home Fix Scotland, said: "As staff begin to return to their own services, I would urge everyone to continue offering their support to our teams over the weeks and months to come.

"As always, we will keep the situation under review to ensure our resources are deployed where they are needed, and in line with government guidelines."