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Moray Firth Credit Union and Forres and District Men’s Shed distribute Maclean's Highland Bakery hampers to socially isolated in Forres


By Garry McCartney

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Jackie Nicol, Shaun Moat, Duncan MacKinnon and Jackie Douglas helped distribute the hampers from Moray Firth Credit Union.
Jackie Nicol, Shaun Moat, Duncan MacKinnon and Jackie Douglas helped distribute the hampers from Moray Firth Credit Union.

A LOCAL business filled 200 hampers with treats on behalf of Health and Social Care Moray (HSCM) to distribute to socially-isolated older people in the area to share with others.

Maclean’s Highland Bakery filled the Valentine-themed gifts with biscuits, oatcakes, hot chocolate, tea and shortbread which Moray Firth Credit Union (MFCU) and Forres and District Men’s Shed helped distribute in the Forres area.

HSCM social enterprise development officer, Tracey Peden, confirmed the hampers were distributed across Moray by the HSCM Ball (Be Active Life Long), Seated Exercise and Tea, and Active Minds Moray groups.

She said: “The recipients were thrilled.

“They were so grateful to see people are thinking about them.”

Increased isolation during the pandemic has left many struggling with declining physical and mental health. Volunteers have played a key role over the past two years, supporting older people who found themselves spending time alone.

The Community Wellbeing and Development Team at HSCM) used this community network to support its Tea for 2 project.

The initiative encouraged these community ambassadors to reach out to the socially-isolated for a chat over the refreshments.

Ms Peden added: “The aim is to increase mental and physical wellbeing through encouraging meaningful conversations.

“Community members are best placed to engage with people in their neighbourhood who may have become socially isolated and help them gain the confidence to start rebuilding connections.”

MFCU director Lorna Creswell explained that hampers distributed via the savings and loans cooperative were to people staff knew had been poorly or isolated.

She said: “The recipients shared with neighbours or family.

“Everyone was delighted by the kind gesture.”



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