They’re the heroes of our high streets who’ve been there when we’ve needed them most. Now it’s time for us to be there for them.
That’s the rallying cry from the Scotland Loves Local campaign as it urges the nation to get behind its High Street Heroes to ensure communities enjoy a vibrant future.
The campaign, spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) with the support of the Scottish Government, has been honouring those who have been going above and beyond to help those around them during the coronavirus crisis.
More than 1,200 nominations were received for the awards – with heroes recognised in every corner of the country.
“What’s clear from every nomination was the enormous gratitude felt by people for the ways in which local people, businesses, community enterprises and groups have helped them throughout the Covid-19 crisis,” said STP’s chief officer, Phil Prentice.
“The dedication with which so many people have supported their communities is remarkable, from ensuring the most vulnerable have not gone without shopping supplies to keeping services operating safely in unprecedented circumstances.”
Mr Prentice says it’s “tremendous” that a spotlight has been shone on their amazing achievements through the Scotland Loves Local High Street Heroes Awards.
And he added: “It is vital that, in order to help them through the challenges we continue to face that we reward their loyalty to us not just with recognition, but with our ongoing custom and support.
“By thinking local first – whether that be for our groceries, gifts or a coffee with friends – we can not only safely support local businesses and protect jobs through the pandemic, but ensure they are there for us on the other side to build stronger, more sustainable town centres for the future.
“As we all live more of our lives locally, this has never been so important.”
The High Street Heroes Awards are a celebration of those who have played – and continue to play – critical roles in supporting communities through Covid-19 in many different ways.
Among the regional champions was Roots of Linwood, a not-for-profit community organisation which sells and delivers fruit, vegetables and other essentials in Renfrewshire.
Its nomination stated: “Roots have been a godsend throughout the pandemic. It was a struggle to get fresh fruit and veg in the supermarkets due to high demand/low stocks. Roots were on hand to provide fresh, quality products throughout.
“The staff should be very proud of themselves and the contribution they made to cheer up/feed the community. Their top-class service was a great help – achieved through heroic efforts by the whole team.”
Roots is part of Enterprise of Linwood Community Development 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 when access to these foodstuffs from traditional outlets was limited.
“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 neighbouring East Renfrewshire, the Regional Champion award went to Tariq Chishti, of Netherlee Post & News, Clarkston Road, Glasgow.
His nomination stated: “In lockdown he became a real local hero – a go-to person.”
A shop has served the community from Tariq’s site for about 100 years. He has owned the business for the past seven years and said of his award: “I was delighted to be nominated and over the moon to have won – very proud.”
In Glasgow, Possibilities for Each & Every Kid (PEEK) was honoured for its support, 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.”
A full roll of honour featuring all of those nominated for High Street Heroes Awards can be found by clicking here. Join in the celebration on social media by using the hashtag #HighStreetHeroes.
People should adhere to local Covid-19 measures in their area when supporting local businesses, including the FACTS advice.
For more information about the Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot
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