Mariella jumps for joy after rubbish effort earns her an East Ayrshire Gift Card

Eight year old Mariella Niven is all set for a bumper local spending spree after becoming the first ever winner of a brand new £50.00 East Ayrshire Gift Card, thanks to her efforts organising litter picks in her local community during lockdown.

The Community-minded youngster was awarded the card in a competition run by East Ayrshire Council’s Town Centre Regeneration officer, Tracy Murray,  to celebrate the launch of the new gift card scheme.

Tracy explains: “The new East Ayrshire Gift Card is all about helping

to boost our local community through keeping spending in the local economy, so we thought it would be fitting to reward someone who has gone the extra mile during the lockdown to do something for their local area. We were overwhelmed with some fantastic nominations, and Mariella has proved a worthy winner.”

Mariella spent her time in lockdown braving all weathers to organise her friends and family and go out picking litter around her Kilmarnock home.  She cares passionately about the environment and her enthusiasm has not only made her local area tidier, it has inspired others around about her to take more care join the war against waste.  Her mum Laura nominated her saying: “My 8 year old daughter, Mariella has been carrying out litter picks within the local community and on her latest tidy up she enlisted the help of some of her friends.

“She has collected dog poo, toilet seats, welly boots, lots of plastic etc. She is currently planning her next litter pick and hopes to invite more people this time and collect even more rubbish.

“I would love to see her rewarded for her efforts.”

And Laura’s wish came true as Tracy handed over the card – together with a smaller version which might be a little easier to spend in the shops!

Tracy adds: “Speaking to Mariella’s proud mum, it’s typical of her daughter that she’s having a hard time persuading her to spend the money on herself – she’s so keen to treat the rest of her family and friends! That’s part of the beauty of the gift card. She’ll be able to spend it in a huge (and growing) number of shops, restaurants and other outlets throughout East Ayrshire and she can either do it in person or online. One thing is for sure, whatever she chooses she will be disposing of any packaging very carefully!”

The East Ayrshire Gift Card, a scheme aimed at boosting local trade throughout East Ayrshire, is an ideal way to treat a friend or loved one to the shopping experience or meal of their choice. They’re easy to buy on the East Ayrshire Gift Card website, which contains a list of participating businesses and special offers for card holders.  Buyers can choose how much to load the card with and they can be spent either in person or online.