THE important contribution that volunteers make to the lives of people in the communities of the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area was underlined last Thursday night at a special Community Champions event.

MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Alex Rowley, and the chair of Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Councillor Linda Erskine, told Cowdenbeath Rotary Club’s Community Champions evening, that despite the problems the Covid pandemic posed for fundraising plans, the gala committees and events groups in places such as Lochgelly, Kelty, Benarty and Cardenden, were ensuring that 2022 was going to see the return of big community days.

People from eight organisations received special certificates on Thursday last week, from the Rotary Club, marking their contribution to their respective communities.

The club’s communities convener, John Gilfillan, said that the people receiving their certificates had for several years ensured that gala days and events like the Lochore Meadows Pipe Band competition and the Village Fair, in Cardenden, had continued to be enjoyed by thousands of people.

“All events organisers have faced amazing challenges over the past two years, but through the hard work of many volunteers, they have been able to ensure that the 2022 events are set to take place this summer,” he added.

Alex Rowley saw close up how gala committees work with his dad Willie being a key worker for years with the Kelty Gala, and he said on Thursday: “The amount of work done by the various groups throughout the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area, has been unbelievable and without the army of volunteers it would not have been possible to ensure that the various 2022 events are going ahead.

“The people being recognised here fully deserve this accolade and I congratulate the Rotary Club in recognising the work done by so many volunteers.”

The convener of Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Linda Erskine, is herself chair of Bowhill Highland Games Committee and she reflected: “It has been such a frustrating time for all these volunteers, over the past two years, but they have kept working hard and keeping up their fundraising and communities are going to be able to enjoy their events this summer.

“Our communities are that much richer through the incredible work done by these volunteers.”

The groups honoured included Lochgelly Gala committee, Benarty Events Committee, Bowhill village Fair, Bowhill Highland Games Committee, Cardenden Events Committee, Cowdenbeath Area Community Association and Civic Week Committee, Kelty Gala Committee and Kelty Coal Race.

Certificates went to Davy Farrell, Lindsay Dobbie and Lorraine Mullen, of Lochgelly Gala; Eddie Easson, Kevin Payne, Shona McKenzie and Charlotte Copeland, of Benarty Events; Bob Martin and Keith Johnstone, of Bowhill Village Fair; Linda Erskine, Don Campbell, Margaret Campbell, Isla Downey and Brian Shultz, of Bowhill Highland Games Committee; Linda Beveridge, of Cardenden Events Group; Alex Haddow, Susan Hood, Christine Gourlay and Shannon Hood, of CACA and Cowdenbeath Gala; Debbie Armstrong, Annmarie Gray and Helen Muir, of Kelty Gala Committee; and Michael Boyle, of Kelty Coal Race.