A REAL champion for Forres has been named as the town's citizen of the Year.
Forres Tesco Community Champion Kerry Speed works full time but volunteers as an assistant at Riding for the Disabled (RDA), Alzheimer Scotland’s Cafe at the Green, Forres Youth and Family Outreach’s Messy Church, the Wednesday Night Group at Forres Academy, the War Veterans Cottages memorial, the Culbin Forest Run and every Saturday morning coffee morning at the town hall.
A Forres Rotary Club spokesperson said: “Kerry goes over and above the demands of her remit to support the community as Tesco community champion. She assists with youth groups and can often be seen in the store educating people about food. Everyone knows they can call on her to assist with everything from tidying gardens to supporting children with disabilities.”
She added: “When the local Dementia group pointed out they needed support when shopping she worked with them to make changes at Tesco. As a result, the Forres branch won the title of best dementia friendly store in Scotland.
“Kerry is a very worthy winner of the Rotary award.”
The mother-of-two from Thornhill work at Tesco Forres nine years ago.
Kerry enjoys shopping for those that cannot do it themselves. She also encourages individuals and groups to apply for her employer’s Bags of Help and community food donation schemes.
However, she was still pleasantly surprised to be recognised for her voluntary work.
She said: “I’m stunned to say the least! I feel amazed and delighted to be given the honour.
“I love where I live and always want to give something back to our great community.
“I also love my job which entails talking to kids about healthy eating and living, as well as giving them sneak peaks through the back rooms!”
Community outreach worker at St Leonard’s Church, Catherine Perry, also believes Kerry is a model citizen.
She said: “Kerry is always willing to help and fits in well at our Messy Church sessions wherever she is required. She’s always very welcoming to everyone.”
RDA Forres chairwoman Elizabeth Furness congratulated Kerry on behalf another of the groups she volunteers for each week,
She said: “Her work with our group is of great benefit to the 30 children who come to us each Monday. Kerry is the first to admit that horses are not animals she is used to, but she puts that to one side and focuses on the young riders who she has a quick and easy rapport with.
“We are lucky to have Kerry as part of our group and proud she is one of our volunteers.”
RDA secretary Sonia Howell added: “Kerry is an amazing lady and real inspiration. Her kindness and sincerity is so genuine and her care for her community is outstanding. And she does it all with a smile! Kerry is one in a million and we are so delighted for her - she thoroughly deserves this award.”