AS the Beast from the East battered the Borders last week, community spirit managed to shine through the snow clouds yet again.

Hundreds of carers, nurses and emergency services personnel went the extra mile to keep Borderers safe.

Gritter drivers and other local authority workers battled round the clock to keep the roads open.

And just as many groups, sports clubs and individuals dug out their shovels to keep their communities on the move.

At SB Cares many office-based staff rolled up their sleeves to help on the ground carers with their visits and shifts in homes.

Mountain rescue volunteers and farmers all helped to transport care workers to some of the remotest communities.

And more than a few had to ditch their cars and walk their rounds to make sure people were safe.

Among them was Fiona McDiarmid from Selkirk who clocked up more than 40 miles on foot during the worst of the weather to reach her vulnerable clients.

A spokesperson for SB Cares said: “We are extremely grateful to all our staff for the determination and commitment they have shown over the past week or so in such challenging circumstances.

"They have truly excelled themselves and we would like to thank them for all their efforts which made sure that we continued to deliver vital services to vulnerable residents right across the Borders.

“It has certainly been a case of all hands on deck with staff from our day support services and admin teams helping out their care at home and residential care home colleagues, and our Independent Living teams doing what they could by manning four-wheel-drive vehicles to get services to some of our more isolated clients.

“Our thanks also go to the families, friends, neighbours and community members who rallied round to check on people as well as helping out by delivering essential medical and food supplies.

“There is no doubt this has been a challenging time but there have been some wonderful examples in workplaces and communities right across the Borders of people going the extra mile which they should all be extremely proud of.”

We also asked our readers to tell us about the stars in the snow from their communities – and we got an avalanche of responses.

Danielle Johnstone was quick to pay tribute to the army of carers and nurses who kept the elderly and frail safe during a hazardous four or five days.

She said: “Well done to all the SB Cares and NHS Borders staff for their amazing efforts.”

Many carers from all different organisations risked their own safety to reach the homes of the region’s less able to provide meals, medication and support.

Katriona Yule and Maria Jose Lyons fought through treacherous conditions to reach their clients. And SB Cares colleague Meg Chisholm made similar efforts in and around Gordon.

We were also told about many carers from Mears who reached their clients on foot after being forced to leave their cars due to the worsening conditions.

The Brothers of Charity support workers also trudged through knee-deep drifts to make sure their clients were safe.

Jeanette Porterfield said: “All home carers who have braved this weather to get to their clients deserve a medal.”

Bernadette Adams from Earlston spent most of last week living at the sheltered housing complex in Greenlaw to provide round-the-clock support for residents.

Carol Rae said: “She was looking after everyone else’s clients as well her own, doing breakfasts, lunches, teas and all the bedtime visits “She was even getting some Greenlaw folk to clear snow to get an ambulance up to take someone to hospital.

“This lady must be shattered.”

Sandra Redpath also told us about the SB Cares superstar.

She said: “Bernadette is one super trouper, staying away from her home in Earlston and putting out an SOS to people in Greenlaw to get one lady out to the BGH for dialysis.”

In Galashiels Kerrie Campbell spent most of the storms checking on and helping the vulnerable in their homes.

And we heard of many who braved the blizzards to transport medical staff to and from the region’s hospitals.

Craig Whitehead helped make sure his colleagues reached the wards, as well as volunteering for extra shifts.

And Chris Chisholm ended his holiday early to provide shift cover and transport at the BGH.

Dale and Eric Robertson both transported nursing staff to the Knoll Hospital during the worst of the storms.

Across our towns and villages community spirit is alive and well after many helped neighbours with shopping and snow clearing.

In Galashiels, as the disruption began on Wednesday morning, a group of children ran a free grocery delivery service for all of the residents in Ellwyn Terrace.

Amanda McNeil explained: “A group of kids up at Ellwyn Terrace got a pen and paper and went round every door and took a shopping list, with their sledge, away down to Asda and got everyone their essentials!

“It took them over three hours but they worked together and helped our little community. So proud of them all.”

In Selkirk 13-year-old Jay Easson spent his days off school clearing snow from the paths of his elderly neighbours – for free.

Maureen Cooper told us: “Well done young man.”

Luke Pettie not only cleared pavements in Gala’s Meigle Row but he also checked on his neighbours with offers of grocery runs.

And in Forrest Hill, community-spirited neighbours led by Joseph Pegg, James Morley, Gemma Morley and Will Evans made sure the paths were clear of snow.

In remote Monklaw, near Jedburgh, Pat and Pete Spence did shopping runs for neighbours in their tractor.

Steve Wilson not only cleared the footpaths around St Boswells but also helped get cars out and went on shopping runs.

Abby Wilson told us: “He has made multiple trips into the town for groceries and prescriptions for our neighbours including a few who are elderly and unable to leave the house on their own.

“For some people, he is the only face they have seen and so without his help they may have been struggling to get any food or medication that they needed through the bad weather.”

Elliot Landells spent much of last week with his loader clearing the side roads in Lauder.

And in Coldstream Jock Standing provided transport for carers as well as collecting coal and essential groceries for snowed in residents.

In Galashiels Alan Mcauly helped tow countless stranded vehicles, delivered groceries and even found time to clear a few paths.

Cardrona Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows and Brownies cleared pathways leading to the bus pick-up points.

Cheryl Turpie added: “Many of them have been out helping their neighbours too!”

Ben Watson cleared paths in and around Teviot Court sheltered housing complex in Hawick.

And Ex Jethart Callant Scott Irvine helped clear the paths for the elderly in Jedburgh’s Forthill Terrace.

Kerry and Dean Woodhouse led snow-clearing around the streets of West Linton.

Sophie and Kieran Edgar not only helped pull cars to safety but also gritted many roads in and around Greenlaw.

There were many other heroic efforts from unknown stars.

Paula Finnie was stuck just over the border in Northumberland when the storms arrived.

She told us: “I just want to thank the lovely lady in Longframlington that offered me a bed for the night, on the spot to strangers.”

And it wasn’t just us humans who were in trouble.

Animals all over the region had to be brought in or supplied with emergency feed and water.

Jake and Elizabeth Johnston managed to transport Stable Life worker Helen Hermiston in their tractor to reach the charity’s ponies near Ashkirk.

Helen said: “They were absolute stars for getting me to Stable Life to help care for all our wonderful special ponies.”

Not too far away at Hornshole, near Hawick, a trucker had been trapped in his cab for more than a day before Ben Watson and his friends came to the rescue.

Kirsty Wilson said: “Thanks to Ben and the others the trucker was able to at least get to a shop for supplies.

“You can’t pick just one person to call a hero – last week has seen so many people going the extra mile for friends and families and complete strangers.

“So many people are needing thanks for their help to others – it’s restored my faith in humanity that’s for sure.”

Local taxi driver Derek Brown provided a free shopping service for the vulnerable.

And despite being frustrated by two forced cancellations, many of the young cast from Selkirk Musical Theatre Company’s Copacabana show cleared snow in and around the Victoria Hall.

Many shopkeepers and businesses also went the extra mile during the storms.

Gordon and Kate Anderson provided milk deliveries despite the atrocious conditions, and staff at Hunters Stables in St Boswells handed out 100 freshly-baked loaves to villagers.

Shopkeeper Steve Wilson, who runs the Tweedbank and Scott Street stores, also had a busy few days.

Shelley Lamb Foster told us: “He has been an absolute star trying to ensure the Tweedbank and Scott Street shops are stocked for the community and keeping everyone updated with what stock he does and doesn’t have.”

McColls and JC Douglas Butcher’s in St Boswells both stayed open late during the snow storms.

And they made offers of free deliveries to anyone who was unable to leave their homes.

Staff at Whitmuir the Organic Place, near West Linton, helped clear access roads to cut-off neighbours and also opened outwith normal hours to allow residents to stock up.

And for one family, escaping the Beast from the East was only possible after a knight in a shining four-by-four got them to the airport.

Stuart Munro told us: “I’d like to thank Ian Lowry in Langshaw for ensuring we got to Edinburgh for our holiday flight.

“He picked us up in his four-by-four and drove us the whole way. A star.”