New Scottish national day celebrates community spirit in pandemic

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COMMUNITY spirit united Scottish people as they came together to celebrate the first national ‘Thank You Day’.

The meaning behind the celebrations was to say thank you to all the people that get others through the pandemic.

Multiple activities such as tartan tea parties, get togethers and picnics were all held to mark the occasion.

family holding up a sign
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. Debbie’s son Finley was sent his own special thank you from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Stroke survivor Debbie Matthew, 45, who lives in Comrie, Perthshire, was one of the first proposers of the national day.

Debbie Matthews said: “I had a stroke five years ago, when I was just 40-years-old. My recovery has been the most difficult journey of my life but also the most incredible, emotional, determined, and best journey at the same time.

cupcakes on a platter - Scottish News
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. All sorts of activities are held on Thank You Day such as BBQs, tea parties and picnics.

“The last year has been particularly difficult but I’m thankful for so much. That is why I held my own Tartan Tea Party and invited not just my friends and family but the local community too so I could thank them all for coming together and being there for each other.”

Debbie held an outdoor Tartan Tea Party as a way to thank her neighbours, with her 12-year-old son Finlay playing bagpipes in the street.

row of balloons - Scottish News
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. All events happening on this national day followed all current Covid restrictions.

The idea of Thank You Day stemmed from a grassroots campaign to organise the UK’s biggest ever thank you party to build on the community spirit built by the lockdowns.

The day had famous backers such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and was supported by organisations like Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Keep Britain Tidy and the Scouts.

Mrs Matthew added: “I’m thankful that we and our neighbours have come together as a community for the first time. Before the first lockdown, I didn’t know many people around here.

street gathered round a table - Scottish News
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. The idea to start Thank You Day came from the community spirit that had been built during lockdown.

“But we’ve been caring for elderly neighbours, doing their shopping and putting bins out. My son Finlay has really helped take care of the neighbours, and I’m so proud of all he’s done.