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The Big Help Out

Date: Thursday 18 May

The Big Help Out

A number of community groups and organisations in Blairgowrie and Rattray are taking part in the ‘Big Help Out’ this Monday, May 8th, to mark His Majesty the King’s coronation.

The ‘Big Help Out’ aims to raise awareness of volunteering throughout the UK and provide opportunities for people to experience volunteering and how it can make a difference in their communities.

Monday, May 8th, has been designated as a holiday for many by those behind the celebrations being held across the UK over the course of the weekend, starting with the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6th, and culminating with a chance for people to find out more about volunteering in their local communities on the Monday.

Some of the groups and organisations taking part in Blairgowrie and Rattray include Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT), Blair in Bloom, the Our Heritage Group, Blairgowrie and Rattray Access Network (BRAN), and the Friends of Blairgowrie Cemetery group.

BRDT is hosting a community litter pick in Davie Park on Monday morning from 10am to 11.30am as part of efforts to help keep the town’s green spaces clean and litter-free.

Also on Monday morning, from 10am to noon, award-winning environmental group Blair in Bloom will be hosting a plant sale at Coronation Corner near the Wellmeadow. As well as offering a range of plants for sale, proceeds from which will go towards supporting the work of the group in the town, local residents are encouraged to chat to the volunteers to find out more about their efforts to keep Blairgowrie and Rattray blooming and how they can get involved.

From 11am to 3pm, the Our Heritage Group is hosting a ‘pop-up’ event in Blairgowrie Library on Leslie Street which will provide information on the Our Heritage Group and the projects it is involved in, as well as the Local History Trust and the Blairgowrie and District Genealogy Group and the services these volunteer-led organisations provide.

From noon to 2pm there is an opportunity to find out more about the valuable work volunteers with BRAN do. BRAN organises weekly work parties during the spring, summer and autumn months which see volunteers cutting grass, strimming and cutting back overgrowth, clearing branches, fixing paths and drainage issues and many other initiatives, ensuring that the path network in and around Blairgowrie and Rattray is kept in good condition for the benefit of local residents and visitors to the town alike. Anyone who would like to ‘have a go’ with BRAN should meet at the car park at the top of the Loon Brae steps at noon.  

The BaRI Food Store at 55 High Street in Blairgowrie will open as usual on Monday, May 8th, from 2pm to 3pm. The popular store is open to everyone and sells in-date food and food which is at its best-before-date that supermarkets cannot sell anymore at heavily discounted prices. It also stocks eco-friendly cleaning products and toiletries which can be refilled at the store, saving on the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill. Local residents are encouraged to pop in and see the store in operation and find out about the Town Volunteer List managed by BRDT and other opportunities.

And finally, from 2pm to 4pm, there is an opportunity to join the recently-formed Friends of Blairgowrie Cemetery to meet those involved with the group and help with one of their regular tidy ups at the Perth Road venue.  

Samantha Stewart is the community engagement coordinator for BRDT and works with many of the town’s 150 volunteer organisations. She said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of any community organisation and this Monday thousands of organisations across the UK are getting together to give us all the chance to help out in our own local communities.

“No matter what you are good at, there are opportunities for everyone to join in and contribute something to the town, even if it’s just for a couple of hours or one day – it can make a real difference. And if it goes on to become a regular thing, then that is even better!

“As well as supporting valuable services in the town, volunteers can also benefit from donating their time, often gaining new skills or enhancing existing skill sets, making new friends and improving their confidence. There are also well-documented benefits to people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing from volunteering.

“So if you would like to help give something back to your local community, we would love to hear from you!”

A community-wide family picnic is also being held in Davie Park on Sunday, May 7th with local residents being encouraged to bring a picnic to the Rattray venue from noon until 2pm. S

am added: “We’re making the most of the long weekend to get together as a community for a town-wide lunch on Sunday in Davie Park and hope that as many people as possible will join us for a picnic.

This is of course weather dependent – so please keep an eye on the Discover Blairgowrie social media pages for updates.”

For further information on the Big Help Out, volunteering opportunities available at BRDT or other community groups and organisations in the town, and the community picnic, email or follow ‘Discover Blairgowrie’ on social media.