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Supermarket sweep for community stalwart Di


By John Davidson

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Di Mitchell has been helping folk out around Huntly during the lockdown.
Di Mitchell has been helping folk out around Huntly during the lockdown.

A community-spirited woman from Huntly has been getting to know the local supermarkets well during the coronavirus crisis.

Di Mitchell has been nominated as one of our Community Champions after she "sprung into action" to help people who were isolating get their shopping, as well as doing a host of other jobs to help folk out.

Despite describing herself as "nothing special" for her efforts, Di admitted: "It's hard work going around Tesco, with the one-way system, especially when you're buying for someone else. You can't really turn back, so I end up going round Tesco about three times!

"It's mostly elderly people that we've been shopping for and they've all been lovely. They appreciate the help and it's just nice to get out as well, because it makes you get up and get dressed and do your hair!

"It's good for your own mental health as well."

Di is a full-time student in health and social care with Open University and has two children, aged four and 12, so is also juggling home schooling with her volunteering to pick up prescriptions and shopping for people who are isolating or shielding due to the virus.

"The school's done an amazing job," she said. "This has happened all of a sudden and nobody knows what they're doing. People are too quick to moan but nobody really knows what the hell's going on, do they?"

In the Huntly area, Andrea Clark has set up the online support group on Facebook – Coronavirus, Covid 19, Huntly & District Volunteers – and Di says she has just been doing whatever needs done.

"It's had a huge impact on everyone's life but you've just got to get on with it, I suppose," Di said. "I just like helping people. It's nice to be nice, isn't it? And I hope when I'm older they'll do the same for me!

"It's good for your mental health as well, just getting up and getting ready to go out rather than sitting about in your jammies all day!"

Di has also been using a couple of Facebook groups of her own to share information and positive messages for people staying at home during the ongoing lockdown.

Huntly Toon Blether is a community group page where people are sharing pictures from around the Huntly area, while Fit's Gan On in Huntly Toon and Surrounding Areas – which is usually an events listing – is being updated with information about local shops.

Meanwhile, 78-year-old Douglas Morrison from Huntly's King Street has also been nominated as a Community Champion.

Douglas Morrison (78) from Huntly has been nominated as a Community Champion.
Douglas Morrison (78) from Huntly has been nominated as a Community Champion.

His nomination stated: "He goes out most days to remove rubbish and dangerous needles from around Huntly. He suffers with a heart condition and also pain in his hips and knees but he doesn't let that stop him from 'doing his bit during this pandemic'.

"He is a star and such a cheerful character."


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