SQF Local Hero Award – February 2021

Westport Veterinary Clinic’s Local Hero Awards has been created to recognise and honour acts of kindness in our local community.
This month Westport Veterinary Clinic’s Local Hero Award Winner for South Queensferry is Anne Mitchell.

Anne is a member of the Queensferry and District Community Council and as a retired nurse she is also the conveyor of the Health and Wellbeing sub group, representing her community on a variety of matters coming under that umbrella.

Anne led the group ‘The Ferry Elves’ to support families and individuals struggling through Covid 19. Being able to link with other groups in the community and with the generosity of locals they managed to support 51 young people in the area.

When The Ferry Elves were created, in the space of just 24 hours had a Just Giving page, a dedicated email address that only Anne accessed (in order to maintain confidentiality) and had organised somewhere to store donated items.

They put out flyers on bus stops (and took them down!) and posted information about their plans on various facebook sites. The local community did not let them down with the Just Giving page far exceeding their hopes for £250 and the donations of preloved but immaculate toys, clothes and gifts received were overwhelming.
The Ferry Elves were able to link families they were helping to other organisations who were offering support, such as the primary schools who had been given funding from the rotary club to buy winter coats and shoes.

Anne Mitchell told us:
“In November after reading about Caroline and Diannes work (organising essentials for families) the Health and Well-being sub group decided that there was a potential for more families in the area to struggle having a family Christmas than would normally identified and wanted to support folk who found themselves in this position, particularly due to COVID 19, hence the birth of the Ferry elves!”

“We tried to spend about £20 on each youngster then made sure that the under 10s had about 6 toys including the preloved ones. Parents never asked for themselves so we tried hard to include them as appropriate. “


“The Pupils and staff of Queensferry High School collected food and toiletries for food banks and anyone else who needed a wee bit extra support. They very kindly allowed us to make up food packages for the local families before we took the remainder to the food bank as well as surprising 6 older folk who needed a bit of help.”We had people donate wrapping paper, make Christmas stockings, donate hand made children’s quilts, give us books they had written, made  a spread sheet and offer their help. I could not have kept on top of this without everyone’s involvement particularly David Flint, Andy Malarky and AnnMarie Boyd.”

“We do have some items and money left over and will discuss the best way to utilise these within the community. On the basis that older people are part of our families we have already taken the extra toiletries and gifts to QCCC to use as they feel right either as gifts for their clients or for use in the fundraising raffles that they rely on to keep functioning. Any remaining clothes we will discuss with the Health visitors , the Early years centre and Kids Love Clothes. The latter takes as new clothes washes and irons them then wraps as new to give to families.”

“Thanks to both Morrisons and Matalan in Livingston for giving us a discount on purchases, as well as St Vincent de Paul , who linked with us and supported the families in other ways with fresh food or fuel payments”

“Although I led this others were an essential part.”

As well as all the work Anne has been doing during Covid 19 to help others, she is also a contributor to many others in both her local community and further afield. She is the CPR lead for St John Scotland and has also just returned to nursing as a vaccinator.

Anne is a true local hero, giving her time and using her skills in a phenomenal array of ways to help and support people in need. An absolutely inspiring individual who truly deserves recognition for her contributions to the local community, as well as her kindness given in volume, to always helping others. Anne we are in awe of all the work you do!
Westport Vet also add a credit to the people of South Queensferry – as a community who have shone so brightly through these tough pandemic times, something which is clear from every heroes story. A community full of kindness.

Westports Vets aim is to recognise and celebrate acts of kindness in our local community and also help to support local businesses in it.
If you would like to nominate someone for Westport Vet’s Local Hero Awards, please email us with details and their act of kindness to: heroes@westportvets.com
Each month Westport Vet’s Local Hero will receive a certificate of recognition and a treat for themselves at a local business.

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Photograph: Local Hero Anne Mitchell (consent for use)