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PICTURES: Buckie Red Cross shop celebrates 25 years of service


By Alan Beresford

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Kevin McKay reprises his role from 25 years ago and cuts the ribbon to mark Buckie Red Cross store’s 25th anniversary.
Kevin McKay reprises his role from 25 years ago and cuts the ribbon to mark Buckie Red Cross store’s 25th anniversary.

THERE were celebrations aplenty at Buckie’s Red Cross shop when a very special milestone was marked.

Saturday, June 29 saw volunteers past and present along with customers come together to hail 25 years of the international humanitarian charity’s presence in the town.

Getting the festivities under way by cutting the ribbon was Buckie man Kevin McKay, a role he performed quarter of a century ago to declare the shop open. He was joined by two of the longest-serving local Red Cross volunteers, Renate Ross and James Cameron, who have 36 and 17 years of service between them respectively.

(From left) volunteer Renate Ross, Kevin McKay, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andy Simpson and volunteer James Cameron. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
(From left) volunteer Renate Ross, Kevin McKay, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andy Simpson and volunteer James Cameron. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Shop manager Hannah Leith said: ”After the ribbon cutting we had a open day in the shop, including raffles and a cake and candy stall.

“It was extremely busy all day and it was great to see so many past volunteers coming along.

“We were delighted Keven could come back and cut the ribbon to open our 25th anniversary celebrations and we were also glad to welcome the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andrew Simpson.

“During the last 25 years the Red Cross has had a big presence in Buckie, and not just in terms of the shop. Up until 10 or 11 years ago part of the shop was actually a first aid training centre before there was a fire in the building. The training centre has now moved to Inverness.

“Until recently we had the likes of wheelchairs and other medical equipment such as crutches for hire.”

Among the raffles up for grabs is one donated by Celtic FC comprising a tour for four round Parkhead.

Mr McKay’s selfless bravery helping a driver trapped his blazing vehicle was to lead to him being invited to declare the then fledgling shop and training centre open.

He explained: “Following the incident the Red Cross nominated me for the Care in Crisis Scotland award, which I won.

“I then went through to the UK-wide awards and won that, too.

“When the shop opened the Red Cross invited me to do the honours and cut the ribbon.

“It was an honour and a privilege to be invited back to cut the ribbon for the store’s 25th anniversary celebrations. I’m always delighted to do anything to help the community so saying ‘Yes’ to this invitation was a no brainer.

“I was also delighted to meet the Lord Lieutenant for the first time.

“The Red Cross are a tremendous organisation and well worth supporting.”

Volunteers and guests get ready to enjoy the anniversary celebrations.Pictures: Daniel Forsyth
Volunteers and guests get ready to enjoy the anniversary celebrations.Pictures: Daniel Forsyth

Speaking afterwards, Mr Simpson commented: “Congratulations to all the volunteers and customers who have supported the Red Cross shop over a quarter of a century.

“During that time, a fantastic amount of money has been raised to support the amazing work done by the Red Cross throughout the world. The Buckie group has also provided an invaluable resource for recycling items and making quality goods available at affordable prices.

“It was wonderful to hear from the volunteers how much they have gained themselves from giving up their time and being part of such a group.”

For more information about the store, including opening times, visit its Facebook page.


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