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Inverness Courier ones to watch in 2024: Community

By Andrew Dixon

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With a new year, always comes new hope but who are likely to be among the individuals to keep tabs on in 2024? Here are our ones to watch in the community.

Daisy McKenzie

Daisy Mackenzie and family. Picture: Callum Mackay
Daisy Mackenzie and family. Picture: Callum Mackay

Suffering the kind of loss most of us – thankfully – will only ever have to imagine, Inverness mum Daisy McKenzie has been nothing short of inspirational throughout 2023.

When her baby son Albie died in his sleep in April, just after his first birthday, it would have been entirely understandable if all she had wanted to do was retreat from the world into her grief.

While nobody is saying she and her family – husband Eoin as well as little Albie's siblings – haven't faced tough times, to put it mildly, the way they have been determined to see some good come out of their personal tragedy has been truly astonishing.

Daisy established Albie's Gift and threw herself into raising funds for Held in our Hearts, a charity offering counselling support to those who have suffered baby loss.

A quiz night, collective sponsored walk and party night with auction followed, raising thousands.

The walk saw participants collectively cover the equivalent of the distance from Inverness to the top of Mount Everest and, as we reported, a flag bearing Albie's face and the names of many other babies lost too soon was recently taken to Everest base camp.

Whatever Daisy does in 2024, it is bound to be amazing and of course she goes with all our best wishes.

Roz White

Roz White. Picture: James Mackenzie
Roz White. Picture: James Mackenzie

Highland Pride secretary Roz White spoke powerfully in November as the organisation marked Trans Day of Remembrance with a vigil in Inverness.

With a list of 392 names of those from around the world killed in the past year for being trans read out at the event, she said: "You can't just kill us all off and suddenly we won't be here any more. Trans people have always been here, you only have to look through unfiltered history to see that there always has been and always will be trans people.

"Stop killing us, and we can fade quite happily into society and go to work, pay our taxes and be useful, beneficial members of society wherever that may be."

Her message was simple and stark and whatever Highland Pride has planned next if Roz is part of it, it will be sure to make an impact.

Caroline Campbell

Caroline Campbell. Picture: James Mackenzie
Caroline Campbell. Picture: James Mackenzie

After an outpouring of love for Inverness's Ironworks venue ahead of its closure in February 2023, it was great to see the business connected with a brand new two-day music festival in the Highlands, which is lined up for September 2024.

Caroline Campbell, director of the Ironworks Venue, is involved in the Black Isle Calling – Live at the Brewery event, teaming up with Elephant Sessions and Black Isle Brewery for the gig which will include an eclectic mix of artists and DJs.

Although the Ironworks premises in Academy Street closed to make way for a hotel, Caroline, who led it for almost 15 years, was determined that the business would continue.

“It’s only through the diversification of the business model of the Ironworks that we have been here for so long," she told The Inverness Courier in January 2023.

“I think people who only see the live side don’t understand there is a whole other part that supports the staff that will continue with live events as well, whatever that may look like."

It seems we're starting to see that and we'll look out for more in 2024.

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