Cabinet Secretary for Communities thanks East Ayrshire volunteers

Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities & Local Government, enjoyed a ‘brew and a blether’ with volunteers in Bellsbank this week as she thanked them for the support they give to their communities, and their recent response to the COVID-19 situation.

The Cabinet Secretary met virtually with Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council; Fiona Lees, Chief Executive and volunteers from the Bellsbank Project, The Zone, Bellsbank’s C.A.N.I. project, Bellsbank Community Council and Dalmellington Community Association. Also taking part in the chat were Councillor Elena Whitham, Centrestage and Donald Currie, Headteacher at Bellsbank.

The focus was on volunteers who have been actively involved in supporting the Bellsbank community, and the group discussed the role of communities in supporting recovery and renewal, as well as the support that can be provided for volunteers.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Volunteers make a massive difference to our communities and during this year’s Volunteers’ Week it’s been more important than ever to thank all those who help – whether they’ve begun recently or have been giving their time and skill for many years.

“Being able to enjoy a virtual brew and a blether over a video call with the Bellsbank volunteers this week was a real privilege. The work they do locally to help people who are in need or at risk is so valuable and I know they will continue to make an important contribution.”

Councillor Douglas Reid said: “We’re so pleased that the Cabinet Secretary could join us for the online chat which was organised as part of Volunteers’ Week. We wanted to thank just some of the many fantastic volunteers we have in East Ayrshire and to recognise the work they do, especially recently when they’ve been delivering meals and shopping and making sure our communities are safe and well during the COVID-19 situation.

“There was already so much good work going on in Bellsbank, with the colourful housing project which has attracted national media attention, and the opening of the new school, early childhood centre and community facility earlier this year. Having to deal with the current pandemic has only strengthened the bonds of this community further and as we progress over the coming months, our bank of volunteers will also be strengthened and ready to help our communities get back to some kind of normality. I thank every volunteer, whether formal or informal, for everything they do for our communities.”

If you would like to thank a volunteer, read volunteer stories and find out other information about Volunteers’ Week, visit www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/volunteersweek

ends