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SHIREs Award a chance to thank Highland and Moray charities for pandemic response


By Calum MacLeod

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Moray Food Plus' volunteer development officer Gillian Pirie...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Moray Food Plus' volunteer development officer Gillian Pirie...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

WHEN the pandemic struck, charities across the north of Scotland found themselves taking on new roles.

For many, this involved ensuring that the more vulnerable members of the community were able to receive deliveries of food and other essentials when unable to get out themselves.

For others, especially those involved in the area of mental health, it involved providing a sympathetic ear and perhaps more active help to those who were struggling with isolation, the loss of work or the inability to see their loved ones.

On top of these added responsibilities, charities faced added pressures themselves with their usual fundraising activities curtailed, yet despite this have continued to serve their communities when they were most needed.

The special effort and additional challenges seen by charities across rural Scotland has been recognised by Inverness-based housebuilder Tulloch Homes, which is supporting the charity of the year category at the Scottish Highlands and Islands Rural Economy (SHIREs) Awards in November.

A spokeswoman for Tulloch Homes said: “Tulloch Homes are delighted to represent the charity of the year category and be involved in the Scottish Highlands and Islands Rural Economy Awards.

“In a year where charities have had to work harder to fundraise and still continue to provide support locally, we take the opportunity to say thank you for all their hard work and efforts in our communities.”

The winning charity or community enterprise will be one which combines passion and social purpose to make a difference across the Highlands and Islands, and in turn plays a huge part in the success and sustainability of the wider rural economy.

It will also have identified a particular need and provided a solution which has had a positive impact.

The SHIREs Awards website states: “From social enterprises to charities and other models, we know there are hundreds of projects out there and we want to celebrate them. From culture to business, from services to experiences, the winner can come in any shape or form.”

The charity of the year award is one of 10 awards which will be announced at the virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, November 18.

Promoted by top Scottish law firm Harper Macleod in Association with Highland News & Media (HNM) Group, the awards will celebrate a year of achievements in trying circumstances in an area that stretches from Argyll in the south to the Shetland Islands in the north and from the Western Isles to Moray and includes a fifth of the Scottish population.

To find out more about how to enter the awards or be a part of the virtual audience, please visit www.hnmedia.co.uk/the-shires-conference-awards/

The awards will follow the second Scottish Highlands and Islands Rural Economy conference, which will also be held virtually and will feature speakers representing government, communities, businesses and the next generation of our rural population, discussing the big issues affecting the rural economy and community and looking at ways to build a prosperous and sustainable future.

Look for more details about the conference and its agenda in future issues of HNM publications and on the Harper Macleod website.



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