A PIONEERING project to support people living on their own when they get out of hospital has reached a milestone.

Compassionate Inverclyde has delivered 5,000 boxes since it was established back in 2017.

Alison Bunce, leader of the project, says it shows how important the initiative is and how much of a success it has been.

She told the Telegraph: "If that many people have been helped or supported, it has been worthwhile.

"It's a simple idea - donations come from the community and go right back into the community.

"It's enough for people coming home to have a snack and a hot drink.

"This can be enough until they can get on their feet to go shopping."

Alison admits that she never expected to reach 5,000 home-from-hospital boxes when the scheme was launched five years ago.

She said: "I never had any idea that we would reach this number.

"We basically started with one box going out and then two, now we have 5,000."

She says none of it would be possible without the crucial volunteers at their base on Level B at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

Alison told the Telegraph: "We have between 10 and 15 volunteers and they are so valuable.

"They do a great job.

"They make up the boxes, man and clean the storeroom, walk around the wards with the trolley and liaise with nurses who know which patients are going home.

"They really make it happen."

At the moment the service is short of supplies and appealing for donations.

Alison said: "We are short of absolutely everything at the moment - tea, coffee, sugar, long-life milk, jam, tins of meat and biscuits."

The team also provide nightwear for patients living on their own who come into hospital as an emergency, plus toiletries, and also keep a stock of clothes for people leaving wards who didn't have clothes with them on admission.

Alison said: "It gives people a bit of dignity."

Anyone who would like to leave a donation can leave items at the storeroom on Level B on Wednesdays between 10am and 2pm.