Ayrshire’s High Street Heroes honoured

High Street Heroes from across Ayrshire have been recognised for their remarkable work during the coronavirus crisis.

The tireless dedication of people to support those around them throughout the pandemic has been celebrated as part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign’s High Street Heroes Awards.


Scotland’s Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell, has thanked everyone nominated across the country for their efforts.


In East Ayrshire, the Regional Champion award goes to William Allan & Son Butchers, Stewarton, whose efforts during lockdown included food vouchers to support those in need of help.


Established in 1903, Allan’s is still owned and operated by the same family, now in its fourth generation. The judges commented:


“Alistair, Alison and their staff went above and beyond during lockdown. They provided a discount on food vouchers to help families in need and who are experiencing debt and poverty due to the coronavirus. This discount helped us help more families to buy healthy meat for their families. This business is an integral part of Stewarton’s High Street.”

Alasdair McFarlane, a partner in the business, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the way that my family, staff and I continued to serve our community during the height of the pandemic and that we continue to do so on a daily basis.”


On the regional champion accolade, he added: “I’m absolutely delighted that we were nominated for such an award – but then to win one is a fantastic feeling. I’m chuffed to bits for everyone in the business.”


A number of businesses also won Highly Commended awards:  Here are the Judges comments:


Yipworld


“Janice Hendry and the team at Yipworld in Cumnock noticed that some local families were really struggling during lockdown. They applied for funding and provided local children who had grown out of items like training shoes and clothes with new ones. Although they work with a lot of local families they contacted the teachers at the schools for any families that may be in need but not known to them. Janice, Robert and all of the team have been true heroes.”


Coffee Press, Kilmarnock


“Alistair and Debbie Hood and staff deserve recognition for their efforts since March. They worked hard to cook and deliver amazing healthy food for local people. Also for making the cafe safe for customers when they were allowed to reopen in phases. They are passionate about local produce, their local area and customers.”


As part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, the awards highlight the tremendous differences that local individuals and local businesses – as well as the safe support for them – has made to peoples’ lives throughout Covid-19. A roll of honour of all nominees has been published at www.lovelocal.scot.


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 thinking local first for all shopping and service needs.


Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet member for Economy and Infrastructure, East Ayrshire Council said: ” These three businesses represent a much wider pool of fantastic, resourceful and innovative business people throughout the area who really pulled together at a time which has been incredibly difficult for everyone. Like so many they made huge efforts, at considerable personal cost in time, energy and money, to make sure they provided exactly what so many of our businesses are so good at, excellent personal service.


“The fact that so many have taken the trouble to nominate these worthy winners says much about the way they’re appreciated by their local communities. And it’s vital that as this pandemic progresses we all continue to support the businesses who have supported us when we all needed them most.


“By shopping local, choosing to spend in small businesses we’re helping feed families, keep people in jobs and keep money circulating locally. It’s a win win situation if we all keep pulling together. Their contribution to our communities should not be underestimated.”

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.


“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 Ayrshire 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.”

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