Communities celebrate the first national Thank You Day
Communities across Scotland came together to celebrate the first national Thank You Day.
Tartan tea parties, picnics and get-togethers were held in an enormous wave of gratitude to everyone who has helped others get through the pandemic.
Stroke survivor Debbie Matthew, 45, who lives in Comrie, Perthshire, was one of the first proposers of the national day.
She held an outdoor tartan tea party to say thank you to her neighbours, with her 12-year-old son Finlay piping in the street – who has been sent his own special thank you from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
The idea of Thank You Day came from a grassroots campaign to hold the UK’s largest ever thank you party and build on the community spirit that so many felt during lock down.
It has been backed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and a host of famous faces and organisations supporting the initiative include Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Keep Britain Tidy and the Scouts.
Members of the public were encouraged to mark the days in numerous different ways from picnics to BBQs, outdoor parties to drinks, while sticking to Covid guidelines.
Debbie Matthew said: “I had a stroke five years ago, when I was just 40-years-old. My recovery has been the most difficult journey of my life but also the most incredible, emotional, determined, and best journey at the same time.
“The last year has been particularly difficult but I’m thankful for so much. That is why I held my own tartan tea party and invited not just my friends and family but the local community too so I could thank them all for coming together and being there for each other.
“I’m thankful that we and our neighbours have come together as a community for the first time. Before the first lockdown, I didn’t know many people around here. But we’ve been caring for elderly neighbours, doing their shopping and putting bins out. My son Finlay has really helped take care of the neighbours, and I’m so proud of all he’s done.”
Debbie added: “I’m thankful that I’m still here; still healthy though maybe not quite as fit.
“Most of all, I’m thankful to my husband Johnny and to Finlay for always being here for me. And I can’t wait to see all the family and friends we’ve missed this last year, especially my mum.
“The people we love matter so much to us, and I’m so grateful we’ve made it through this and we can all be together and hug each other at last.”