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Local hero Debi Weir joins Richard Lochhead at opening of Scottish Parliament

By Ewan Malcolm

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LOCAL hero Debi Weir joined Moray MSP Richard Lochhead for the state opening of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday October 2.

(From left to right): Debi Weir is joined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Debbie Kelly and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead.
(From left to right): Debi Weir is joined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Debbie Kelly and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead.

Debi was nominated as a local hero to represent Moray at the official opening after her tireless efforts to mitigate poverty and her work supporting families who struggle financially in the region.

"It was great. It was really fab," Debi said.

"Getting dressed up and going along to something that is so important to Scotland was just a real honour.

"Getting the recognition is nice. I would do my work anyway. I don't do it for that in any way, shape or form. Being recognised does feel good though.

"It was good to be out and about again after so long as well. It's the first time I've been down to the Central Belt since the the pandemic really.

"I think that it's important to say that for me it was about representing Moray.

"Everybody there did some amazing things. Just to be in a room full of people who had done some really phenomenal things during the pandemic was an honour. That was really humbling."

Debi also set up Moray's School Bank which provides school uniforms and warm winter clothing as well a coaching and counselling to families in poverty. She invited the charity's Project Co-ordinator Debbie Kelly as her guest for the opening in recognition of her vital work.

"It's really good for the team," Debi said.

"I took Debbie with me because I felt that it was important to also recognise the effort that she has put in throughout the pandemic."

"She was just delighted. We really did have a great day."

The nominated heroes from across Scotland were greeted by the Queen and Prince Charles after the ceremony had taken place. For Debi, it was one of the highlights of the day.

"I got a little bit excited when I met her. It was lovely but you know she was really tiny. The part that really touched me is her age and where she's at in life. You know it is probably one of the last times that she'll ever do something like this so for me it was a real honour to be a part of it and to get to have a quick chat with her was great."

Debi was given a tour of Parliament by Mr Lochhead and was also met by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Mr Lochhead hailed Debi's contribution to Moray after the ceremony.

"I was delighted to welcome Debi to Parliament as my local hero and to have her represent Moray," he said.

"She is a committed and dedicated volunteer who has supported many local families over the years through her work on the Moray School Bank.

"Debi's a determined campaigner who works hard and has clearly made a difference to many people's lives – she truly represents the best of Moray and the hundreds of volunteers in our local communities who have gone out of their way to help others during the pandemic."

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