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Volunteers celebrated in Blairgowrie & Rattray

Date: Monday 10 July

Volunteers celebrated in Blairgowrie & Rattray

Hard-working and dedicated volunteers in Blairgowrie and Rattray were recognised for all they do in the town at a special volunteers’ party this month, thanks to Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT).

The event, held at the new Rattray Community Garden on the afternoon of Saturday, July 8th, 2023, celebrated the efforts of nearly 3000 people in the town who give up their time to help and support others and make Blairgowrie and Rattray a thriving and attractive town with a strong sense of community and identity.

Representatives from the 152 volunteer groups and organisations in the town were invited to the party, which also saw the presentation of trophies to the winners of the Blairgowrie and Rattray Citizen of the Year, Young Person of the Year and Community Group of the Year awards, organised by Blairgowrie and Rattray Community Council with support from the Blairgowrie Advertiser.

This year, the Citizen of the Year award was presented to Ian Richards for his work with a number of community groups and organisations in the town over the years, including the Blairgowrie and District Hillwalking Club, the Blairgowrie and Rattray Access Network, the Our Heritage Group and Blairgowrie and Rattray Community Council.

The Young Person of the Year this year is 16-year-old Connor Graham who earlier this year won the Scottish Men’s Amateur Golf Championship. Connor was recognised for the motivation and inspiration he provides to other young people in the town and for being a fantastic ambassador for Blairgowrie and Rattray on the international stage.

The Community Group of the Year award, now in its second year, was presented to The Friendship Café in Rattray, which is open every Thursday morning every week of the year and which welcomes everyone to join them for refreshments and entertainment, helping to reduce social isolation.

Sam Stewart is the community engagement coordinator for BRDT.

She said: “There are more than 150 community groups and organisations in Blairgowrie and Rattray, all of whom rely on volunteers to do the work that they do in the town.

“So many of the things that are amazing about our town and make it such an attractive place to live, work and visit, are down to the passion and commitment that volunteers put in to them and they all deserve to be celebrated.

“Coffee mornings, ceilidhs, litter picks, games nights, raffles, bingo teas, path clearing, hanging baskets, sports activities and coaching, Christmas Lights, events such as the Blairgowrie and Rattray Highland Games and Braemar Day, festivals such as It’s BRAW! And Bookmark, are all down to volunteers.

“BRDT itself relies on the generosity and commitment of a team of some 150 volunteers to help it in its efforts to enhance the town for the benefit of all – delivering lunches every Saturday, helping to run the BaRI Food and Refill store four times a week and the Booklore store on Upper Mill Street, publishing and delivering the Hub magazine, stepping up to be trustees on our Board - and we really don’t take that for granted.

“Which is why we wanted to hold a celebration event to express our appreciation for volunteers in the town – the work that they do and the commitment they have to making our town something special makes a hugely positive difference to the lives of others and is something to be very proud of.

“It also makes our work at BRDT to support community groups, individuals, and volunteers to deliver projects that enhance the town for the benefit of all much easier – we literally couldn’t do what we do without them and we are very grateful for that.”

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