LISTEN: Ewan Robertson explains what the High Street Heroes Award is and what the judges were looking for from winners
As part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign the Scottish Town’s Partnership is celebrating the best Scotland’s local communities have to offer.
‘Tireless dedication’ is key to the award which is celebrating Feldy Roo as the regional champion in Perth and Kinross for their contribution to the Aberfeldy and the surrounding area after delivering almost 40,000 free meals to vulnerable people in the area.
Reacting to the news, Gavin Price, managing director of Fountain Bar, said: “I am very proud. This is great recognition for a heart-warming project.
“FeldyRoo was amazing. It brought businesses, volunteers and a community together as we have never seen before.”
Scotland’s Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “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.”
Feldy Roo is a collective of local enterprise who came together right from the start of the lockdown to make sure that the over 70’s in their community were protected and looked after.
The massive community effort is best described by themselves in their nomination for the awards which said:
“From a potentially serious situation, Aberfeldy and it’s fantastic community spirit turned a negative into a positive. All the local cafes, restaurants and pubs (that had had to shut down overnight) turned their kitchens and staff to providing meals for the most vulnerable people in our community, the over-70s.
“On the 19th March #FeldyRoo delivered its first meal from Fountain Bar. By July 31, 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.”
Three other businesses in the area received the Highly Commended award, they are: Comrie Shops (a collective), Zed Hussain, Blackford Stores and Remake, in Strathearn & Strathallan.
Judges were told that for the Comrie Shops: “Every shop in the village supported us all during lockdown going above and beyond. Free newspaper deliveries to those shielding, deliveries of shopping with no extra charge, a helpline to assist anyone in the village with requests for help or even just to have a regular chat with someone, especially for many of our older residents who lived on their own.
“Comrie Community Council delivered an information sheet via a team of volunteers to every home in the village with local contact numbers for all shops and other local businesses. The helpline organised by the community council, the phone bought and paid for by a local resident and manned by a team of volunteers. Comrie has always been proud of it’s sense of community and again the village did everyone proud.”
In Zed Hussian’s Blackford Stores nomination, judges were told that: “Zed has kept his little village store in Blackford open all through lockdown. He made individual deliveries to elderly or shielding locals if they needed it. When it was our virtual Gala week, he arranged to have a punnet of strawberries delivered by volunteers to every household in the village, as well as outlying farms and cottages.”
And finally, Remake’s nomination said: “Remake volunteers, staff and trustees have worked hard during this difficult time to keep our community reuse charity open and supporting the local community. Remake is all about people and community. It was asked to be a Covid-19 anchor organisation for the local community area of Strathearn and Strathallan to distribute funds locally.
“The award of £56,852 from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund via The National Lottery Community Fund meant funds could be secured for Crieff Connexions to open a Response Hub on Crieff High Street for multiple services including debt counselling, support and signposting and a community fridge, Creative Crieff to provide public service radio announcements and eight local community groups. These groups are being supported with mental health and wellbeing training and support.”
Scotland’s Town’s Partnership Cheif Executive, Phil Prentice, added: “The dedication with which people across Perth and Kinross 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.”