Joan McAlpine MSP has praised the people of Sanquhar for their efforts to combat hardship, alleviate social isolation and build community spirit during the pandemic.. Ms McAlpine was speaking following a visit to the town last week where she met with various community groups including A’ the Airts and Clark’s Little Ark as well as volunteers from the local FareShare project.
The SNP MSP said locals should be proud to be part of such a resilient community with a strong sense of civic co-operation and belonging.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said,
“I’m so impressed with the way the people of Sanquhar have come together to look after the most vulnerable in their community during these difficult and challenging times. Community groups, shopkeepers and volunteers are working with each other to donate and distribute food to make sure everyone has a hot meal and no-one is left without companionship.”
“It was a pleasure to meet with Yvonne Barber, Manager of A’ the Airts who has been doing great work to keep the community engaged during the pandemic, with lots of interesting outreach projects. The Christmas craft packs they distributed to local schools recently were a great idea – the decorations which pupils made from them have been on display in the centre’s windows throughout the festive season.
“The centre has become a real community hub, distributing food to the local primary school and anyone struggling. Yvonne told me the café will be opening on Christmas day for people on their own to have a meal and enjoy a bit of company. I hope everyone has a lovely time.
“While in Sanquhar I visited Clark’s Little Ark animal sanctuary, to hear about how they have got through the pandemic and have a look at their improved facilities – having power and sanitary provision has made a huge difference. Clark’s Little Ark also plays an important role in the local community, providing a place for families to visit, volunteer and learn about livestock. It was great to see how well the animals were thriving, especially those that have recovered from illness. And it’s difficult not to get in the mood for Christmas when you’re visiting a donkey in a stable wearing a Santa hat!”
Joan McAlpine MSP at A’ the Airts with Manager Yvonne Barber and Chris Simm, food share co-ordinator (ATA3)
Joan McAlpine MSP with Manager Yvonne Barber (ATA6)
Joan McAlpine MSP st Clark’s Little Ark with founder, Alison Shankly; volunteer, Jennifer Pagan and Seamus the Donkey (CLA1)
Joan McAlpine MSP with Benny the Goat (CLA4)