THE continued success of a community initiative involving youngsters in Kirriemuir has recognised with the presentation of certificates.
The certificates, which recognise almost 450 hours of community volunteering work by secondary school youngsters, were presented at a ceremony in Forfar Police Station last week.
The scheme, led by Tayside Police community liaison officer Pam Colvin, and supported by Kirriemuir Community Council, a body that provided the certificates, has been lauded in the town over the past two years, with a great deal of positive feedback.
The latest programme, which ran from May to October, saw eleven volunteers from Webster’s High School, assisted by a young adult volunteer, who was a recent school-leaver, give their time in carrying out various tasks within the area to the benefit of the community as a whole.
The volunteers who contributed to this year’s total of 431 hours were Connor Jones, Rebecca Low, Zoe Wilkie, Ciara McKay, Lynn Simpson, Heather Simpson, Amie MacDonald, Donald Hobson, Robyn Grewar, Amy Walker, Ben Walker and Alex Guthrie.
Constable Pam Colvin explained that the volunteers worked tirelessly litter picking, tidying the gravel pathways in and around St Mary’s Church, working with the Forfar Country Ranger Service, even venturing out to Lintrathen to assist with a garden there.
“They again worked within the grounds of Lyell Court and Kirkton Court, Kirriemuir, both of which are elderly residents.
“Their hard work was greatly appreciated by the residents, who often came out of their homes to converse with the volunteers and treat them to sweets and biscuits .
“A letter of appreciation received from Lyell Court thanked the volunteers for their hard work and said it was lovely to see two generations coming together and sharing knowledge, chat and laughter.
“The letter mentions respect shown by the volunteers towards the residents.”
Constable Colvin went on to say that Glamis Community Council requested the assistance of the volunteers to do work within the centre of the village.
”The volunteers were tasked with weeding the raised borders in the Square, carefully removing geraniums for them to be stored with a view to replanting them the following year.
“The volunteers worked very hard and, after completing the tasks given by the community council, and having a few hours to spare, they weeded between all the paving stones around the Square and Post Office.
“At the end of the day, the difference made was amazing and their commitment and hard work was outstanding.
“A letter of appreciation was received from Glamis Community Council, expressing not only their appreciation but also the appreciation from the local community as a whole.”
The volunteers also assisted The Heartie Thrang which is a one off workshop run every two years for the over-fifties as a taster event, giving participants the opportunity to try new activities, make friends and encouraging them to embark on new hobbies.
The organisers approached Constable Colvin, looking for help from the volunteers to assist in escorting the participants to and from workshops, navigating them round Webster’s High School.
“One hundred and fifty people attended the event and the feedback from the participants and organisers was very complimentary on how the volunteers assisted greatly in the smooth running of the event,” added Constable Colvin.
“The hours accrued by eight of the volunteers built towards the crucial 50 hours total per person, at which point they were eligible to receive the Saltire Award from Volunteer Angus.
“As if last year’s hard work wasn’t enough, two of the volunteers, Lynn Simpson and Ciara McKay, had returned to the initiative, accumulating a further 50 hours to reach their new individual targets of 100 hours.
At last week’s presentation of certificates, created by Kirriemuir Community Council, letters of appreciation and photographs of the volunteers at work, were on display.
Concluding, Constable Colvin said: “The success of the initiative is due to the commitment from the young people who have taken part, coupled with the support they have received from their parents.
“The volunteers are making a difference to the lives of many vulnerable people in Kirriemuir, make them a credit not only to themselves, but also to their parents, their school and the community to which they belong.
“Kirriemuir is full of young people who are able and willing to contribute to the needs of the community. All they need is to be asked and guided in the right direction.”