Volunteers are at the very heart of the community...

Stoney view

Stoney view

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Stonehaven needs more volunteers to keep its community groups running, according to residents who attended a town meeting last week.

Around 40 or 50 local people turned out to the meeting last Thursday which had been organised by Stonehaven resident James Stephen, to discuss ways to improve the town.

And the overwhelming feeling among those who attended was that more volunteers are needed, and they require more information about how they can help Stonehaven.

Mr Stephen said: “Over the last couple of months, a group of us have been getting together to do our bit to tidy up the town.

‘‘We have cleared the path up to the Bervie Braes, and tidied up the beachfront.

‘‘There are a lot of volunteer groups which help to make the town great. We have got plenty of willing helpers, and are poised and ready to do more work, but we would like to know whether we are allowed to just go ahead or do we have to clear it with Aberdeenshire Council?”

Area Manager for Kincardine and Mearns, Willie Munro, attended the meeting and said: “We welcome volunteers, but we need to make sure we get it right. We need to work together to make sure that the work being done is being done right.

“We have a fantastic relationship with groups like Horizon where we work together to achieve the best results.”

One volunteer from Horizon, which works all year round to help keep Stonehaven looking good, said “it would be nice to get some help,” before adding that the information on how to get involved with volunteering was there if people took the time to look.

Mr Stephen said: “A lot of the great things in Stonehaven are thanks to volunteers such as the Friends of the Open Air Pool, the Fireballs Committee, Open Air in the Square, the Feein Market and the upcoming Harbour Festival and many more. There is a lot of hard, unpaid work that goes into the town.

“But everybody is looking for new volunteers, long or short-term, even if it’s just mucking in for one day.

“We need to get younger peole involved because they are our future. We need to get some community spirit going.

‘‘We are so lucky, we’ve got a great place here. Let’s take care of the little things and the little things will take care of the big things.”