Cabinet Secretary’s praise as awards recognise amazing efforts to help communities respond and support those in need as pandemic took hold
Charities and community organisations are among those who have been honoured for the remarkable ways in which they have responded to the coronavirus crisis.
Efforts which have ensured that families, the vulnerable and elderly have not gone without essential supplies and meals are among those recognised in the Scotland Loves Local High Street Heroes Awards.
Regional champions have been recognised in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas for the lengths to which they have gone to support communities - a number of them coming from the third sector.
They include Possibilities for Each & Every Kid (PEEK) in Glasgow.
The charity has led a huge Covid-19 crisis response, which has seen it work with in excess of 1,000 children and young people, more than 1,245 adults and deliver 24,000-plus meals.
Their nomination stated: “Without the dedication, commitment and positive attitude of the PEEK team our community would not be receiving the support they need.”
#TeamPEEK are a mixture of play rangers, community artists, youth workers, community chefs, coordinators and senior managers.
Head of operations Emma Hill said: “We are very proud of our team. They have consistently gone above and beyond to reach and support our families throughout the pandemic.
“We were able to change our operations overnight to begin preparing, cooking and delivering hot meals and food packages, source and distribute wellbeing and activity packs and deliver online sessions to families across Glasgow when they needed us most.”
Roots of Linwood - a not-for-profit community organisation that sells and delivers fruit, vegetables and other essentials - has been named regional champion for Renfrewshire in recognition of its team’s tireless work.
One of its many nominations stated: “Roots have been a godsend throughout the pandemic. The staff should be very proud of themselves and the contribution they made to cheer up/feed the community.”
Roots is part of Enterprise of Linwood Community Development Trust.
Trust manager Kirsty Flannigan said: “We are very proud of everyone in our team who went the extra mile to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to households across Renfrewshire and beyond.
“Their loyalty, resilience and spirited determination has remained resolute since this horrendous situation began and we thank all our customers who continue to support us.”
In Perth and Kinross, the regional champion award went to #FeldyRoo, a collaboration of businesses and people in the town, which saw local cafes, restaurants and pubs provide meals for the over-70s.
Their nomination stated: “On 19 March #FeldyRoo delivered its first meal from Fountain Bar. By 31 July, having teamed up with nine other businesses on the way, they had delivered 38,807 more.
“On the way, around 140 volunteers signed up to help with deliveries, fundraising, finances, grant applications, filming, cooking, baking and much much more. This, along with the monumental work of fundraisers and grant applications raised around £130,000 to fund this project, an astonishing story on its own. The generosity of the Aberfeldy public should not be underestimated, with a Go Fund Me Page that topped £27,000.”
#Feldy-Roo offered two meals and a newspaper every day, to an area that ended up covering west as far as Fearnan, to Ballinluig and Balnagaurd in the east. At its peak, it delivered to more than 300 residents in Highland Perthshire, also providing much needed social contact.
Reacting to the award, Gavin Price, managing director of Fountain Bar, said: “FeldyRoo was amazing. It brought businesses, volunteers and a community together as we have never seen before.”
In Edinburgh, the regional champion’s award went to mechanics at The Bike Station whoprovided free recycled bikes - plus a helmet, lock and lights - to more than 200 key workers. The business’ outlet in Perth made a similar contribution.
Scotland Loves Local is spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) with the support of the Scottish Government to help the country’s response to the pandemic by urging people to think local first for all their shopping and service needs.
More than 1,200 nominations, covering hundreds of people, were made for theHigh Street Heroes Awards.
Scotland’s Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell today praised each and every one of them for their efforts, saying: “I would like to thank these High Street Heroes for going the extra mile to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am pleased the Scottish Government has been able to support these awards through our funding for Scotland’s Towns Partnership. They typify the kind of community spirit that has supported people and improved lives.
“This has been a difficult year for all of us, and the only way we will get through is by sticking together, being kind, and offering help where it is needed. The fact that these awards received more than 1,200 nominations just shows how much people have appreciated those who have pulled together to help one another.”
STP’s chief officer, Phil Prentice, said: “The dedication with which people across Scotland have supported those around them during the pandemic has been remarkable. We’re delighted to shine a spotlight on the amazing difference that our High Street Heroes have made and thank them for all they have done.
“They are an inspiration - local people helping their communities and customers like never before. They highlight the vital part that high street businesses play in our lives and why we must support them to ensure they continue to be there for us.”