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Unsung heroes share a shed-load of food to help people in Brora during coronavirus crisis

By John Davidson

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Yvonne Brown and daughter Poppy Watson from the Brora food shed.
Yvonne Brown and daughter Poppy Watson from the Brora food shed.

A mother and daughter have been called unsung heroes for the work they are doing to deliver meals and food parcels to those in need.

Yvonne Brown and her daughter Poppy Watson were nominated as Community Champions for their selfless help to keep people fed during the coronavirus pandemic.

But their efforts began a long time before this, when Yvonne and husband David Watson set up a food shed in Brora, Sutherland.

The concept was aimed at reducing food waste and helping to fight climate change. Yvonne contacted the foodshare group and organised pick-ups from local supermarkets, including in Tain, six nights a week.

She contacted various groups which offered advice and support on aspects such as food hygiene and insurance and she also sourced free fridges and freezers.

With funding from Kilbraur wind farm and Tesco, the outdoor shed was built. People can use the shed to pick up food that would otherwise go to waste, with entry currently subject to a strict social distancing policy.

In the current lockdown situation, Yvonne and Poppy are described as the “driving force” behind a team delivering food parcels and distributing cooked meals ready for reheating, all using food from the foodshare deliveries.

Their nomination stated: “They are, selflessly and with compassion, putting themselves at risk to help others in their community.”

Elsewhere in Sutherland, staff at the Bradbury Daycare Centre in Bonar Bridge have been hailed Community Champions as well.

The centre has closed to clients due to the virus but has continued to offer a vital service to the community, providing hot meals, prescription delivery, liasing with local shops to collect supplies and delivering to all, not just the vulnerable and those self-isolating.

“The staff are working so hard to ensure nobody is left without,” the nomination said.

Meanwhile, in Golspie, Nicole Murray from Benview Stores has been nominated as a Community Champion.

Her nomination stated: “She appears to have been working 24/7 for the last few weeks, keeping shelves well stocked and being there for everyone.

“She has been making up deliveries, helping older members of the community and always with a smile on her face.

“Over Easter, she and others took out Easter eggs to people in Golspie and she has also organised a stone collage outside the shop praising the NHS and bringing a bit of colour to the area.”

Volunteers in the Smithton area of Inverness have also been nominated for all their good work in the community.

Members of the Smithton Residents Association and Smithton Community Council have joined forces to help others during the lockdown, including picking up prescriptions and delivering food parcels.

The family food packages also contain crafts for children and houses were given posters with a green tick or a red cross with contact numbers if they need help.

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