Published: 02/03/2018 08:55 - Updated: 26/02/2018 14:16

Shopkeeper recognised for her community work

Peal shopA SHOPKEEPER has received national recognition for the contribution she has made to our community over 36 years.

Pearl Hamilton, of Pearl’s Pet Care, Tolbooth Street, Forres, has been awarded the ‘Highly Commended’ accolade in the ‘On-Going Giving’ category in the 2018 Small Business Big Heart Awards.

The news of her nomination came out of the blue.

She said: “At first, I thought it was some sort of scam but it was followed by emails, messages and telephone conversation. I also received a letter from Douglas Ross MP congratulating and wishing me and my nominated charity well.”

The judges singled Pearl’s Pet Care out due to its long-term involvement in animal welfare, environmental safeguarding, community care and regional business development.

Since Pearl first opened her shop’s doors in 1982, she has been involved in the community in many other ways.

In the early days of the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf charity, she approached RAF Kinloss for funds – with the help of the RAF Police she organised dog training classes and a fete.

For over 20 years, Pearl gave up every second Sunday to organise boot sales and other events, raising more than £100,000 to provide the local elderly with monthly outings.

Pearl has supported animal shelters and needy individuals by collecting and distributing food and accessories for more than three decades.

She once won an award from Moray Council for her innovative use of recycled packaging while trading on line.

She has also worked with the local authority, schools and community groups in the area on pet shows.

Pearl has been a voluntary member of the Federation of Small Businesses for many years and has represented members at local, regional, national and UK level.

Director of Marketing at competition organisers, Rufus Bazley, believes Pearl’s efforts are worthy of a commendation.

He said: “The Small Business Big Heart Awards demonstrate the incredible impact the UK’s small business community has on individuals and organisations. We’re delighted to present Pearl with this prize.”

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