Moray and Banffshire Heroes: Buckie's Roots do community proud
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"Well done Buckie!"
Those were the words of Buckie's Roots chairperson Meg Jamieson as she held aloft the group's trophy at the Moray and Banffshire Heroes Awards on Thursday evening.
The group, whose flowers and plants been been sprucing up the town for the past five years, won the public vote in the Community Champion of the Year category and representatives Meg and treasurer Gifford Leslie said they were absolutely delighted with the outcome.
"We want to thank everybody ever so much for voting for us. We're all incredibly proud," said Meg, having been voted up onto the stage by host Nicky Marr.
"We are just two representatives, but our group is everybody who goes out and does all the work."
Speaking to Highland News and Media later, Meg said the award has come as the group of six trustees and 20 members begin to enter their busiest period of the year.
"We are going to be planting up the summer beds and adding 12 planters to Buckie Square and maintaining the Speyside Way," she explained.
"We originally started up after the town was getting some negative comments on Facebook. Three of us got together and thought that we had to do something to bring in tourists and brighten up the place for the community.
"We thought we would just do one planting and that would be it, but we have now been going for five years," Gifford added.
As for the award, Gifford said it was great recognition for the committed team of volunteers.
"We are just absolutely chuffed," he said. "For once in our lives we are speechless!"
All areas of the town, and beyond, have benefited from the work of Buckie's Roots' volunteers.
Having originally just planted flowers in the garden in the Square, five years later there is now an active charity group as well as a remembrance area at the Speyside Way that has been developed.
Buckie's Roots also has a litter-picking group and a Crafty Roots team, a community engagement project started in the pandemic to encourage folk to do something when they were at home. Crafty panels are made from their home and these are then displayed in the town and at a local care home.
In addition, Buckie's Roots also received one of the Tree of Trees from the Queen's Green Canopy project.
This year's Community Champion of the Year award was sponsored by Walker's Shortbread from Aberlour.