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Moray & Banffshire Heroes 2024: Nominate your Community Champion of the Year


By Alan Beresford

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Meg Jamieson (right) and Gifford Leslie accept the Community Champion of the Year award on behalf of Buckie's Roots from Roz Cassidy, the HR Manager of Walker's Shortbread. Picture: Beth Taylor
Meg Jamieson (right) and Gifford Leslie accept the Community Champion of the Year award on behalf of Buckie's Roots from Roz Cassidy, the HR Manager of Walker's Shortbread. Picture: Beth Taylor

LOCAL community group Buckie's Roots certainly have not been letting the grass grow under their feet since triumphing at the Moray and Banffshire Heroes awards earlier this year.

The volunteer group, who initially started life five years ago determined to brighten up the town's Cluny Square before expanding their remit, topped the public poll for the Community Champion of the Year trophy. Accepting the silverware at a special awards ceremony at Brodie Country Fayre were Buckie's Roots chairwoman Meg Jamieson and treasurer Gifford Leslie.

Looking back at the group's victory, Meg said that the fact it was an accolade from the public made it extra special.

She said: "This was the award we have ranked the greatest because it’s voted for by the community and it’s for the community.

"We were lost for words when Buckie’s Roots was announced the winner of the category but delighted for the town.

"To our members it’s recognition that what we all do is what our community want from us – from designing, growing and planting the town's open spaces and bringing colour back into Buckie to the constant litter picking that goes on throughout the year.

Sandra Simpson (left) and Maria Chambers from Crafty Roots, Buckie's Roots' crafters group, showcase the Beautiful Sea Life panel at Cluny Square in July. Picture: Beth Taylor
Sandra Simpson (left) and Maria Chambers from Crafty Roots, Buckie's Roots' crafters group, showcase the Beautiful Sea Life panel at Cluny Square in July. Picture: Beth Taylor

"The community crafters made a great impact when they made and put together beautiful craft panels which are displays in the town and more recently the postbox toppers that appeared. As a small local charity we have a great community following with local businesses supporting us when they can."

Sid and Friends made the post box outside Eat Mair Fish in Buckie their home during July. Picture: Beth Taylor
Sid and Friends made the post box outside Eat Mair Fish in Buckie their home during July. Picture: Beth Taylor

Buckie's Roots, who are no strangers to winning awards, are not known for resting on their laurels and this year has been no exception.

Meg continued: "It’s been a really busy time we have made great progress in the square with the addition of large planters and towers.

"They produced a spectacular display for the community and visitors alike.

"We have added to the start/finish of the Speyside Way when we joint funded the tidy up of the cobbles with funding added from Struan guest house. We added to our community planters involving others who watered them.

"Buckie's firefighters supported us with the watering of the new planters this was very much appreciated. We attended the King's garden party at Holyrood, a day of rain but a great atmosphere. Recently we have purchased new barrels and planted them out at the bench on the main A98 road. This was from funds from Buckie and District Community Council.

Buckie's Roots' wandering knitted seagull Steven Seagull had the royal garden party at Holyrood on his itinerary. Picture: Buckie's Roots
Buckie's Roots' wandering knitted seagull Steven Seagull had the royal garden party at Holyrood on his itinerary. Picture: Buckie's Roots

"We have been in discussions to fund new gates for the war memorial – this funding was raised by veterans back in 2019. We honestly never stop.

In the run up to Christmas, Buckie's Roots supported Remembrance Sunday by ensuring Cluny Square was tidy and a display was in place. The group also attended the Buckie Christmas Kracker on Saturday, November 18 and on Thursday, December 14 are set to reprise their carols in the square event in conjunction with Buckie Community Choir which successfully debuted in 2022.

Message baubles were on sale in the run up to the event which were hung on the three Christmas trees placed in the square for the service.

Meg added: "The Annual Boxing Day Dook/Paddle will be held again with all money raised going to the town's flower display next summer which will be in the lifeboat colours to mark their 200th anniversary.

"Next year we will be joint working with Buckie RNLI and have plans for a special event. As always we will be supporting other groups and Glow Gold September.

"Buckie’s community have always been our focus. Bringing back the community spirit by involving as much people as we can, listening to what people want and doing what we can to brighten up the town.

"The community have supported Buckie’s Roots to make this happen."

Keep up to date with Buckie's Roots news and events by following their Facebook page.

Sponsoring the Community Champion category will be Walker's Shortbread of Aberlour.

Show your support for your local community champions and nominate them for a Moray & Banffshire 2024 Heroes award at https://www.hnmedia.co.uk/morayheroes/

The awards will be held on April 25, 2024 at the Banff Springs Hotel.


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