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Over the past few weeks we have been celebrating the kindness of the local community by encouraging people to thank their fabulous friends, colleagues, neighbours and family members for their thoughtful deeds via the Shop The Centre Facebook Page, with two £50 Gift Cards being given away each week to spend at The Centre when we fully reopen - one for the person who has been nominated, and one for the person nominating them.

Our first winner was Anne Taylor, a 58 year old Dental Technician from Uddingston who was nominated by her friend Helen Glass. Helen works in Business Development in Renfrewshire and has known Anne for over twenty years after meeting her at dog agility competitions. She describes Anne as a beacon of light in difficult times and wanted to thank her for being a wonderful friend and for her unfailing positivity throughout the pandemic.

Anne has worked in The Glasgow Dental Hospital since leaving school at 16 in 1979. Due to COVID Anne’s laboratory had to realign to adhere to social distancing measures so, as well as becoming the COVID Safety Officer, she volunteered to cover portering duties, which meant an early 6am start every morning.

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In her spare time Anne’s four dogs keep her busy - they’ve been enjoying longer walks due to Anne’s new working hours which Anne has also found beneficial for her own mental wellbeing. Anne and her dogs did miss their regular dog training sessions however she and the other members have been enjoying the Zoom classes that were organised by their Trainer.

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Helen said:

“Anne brings smiles to all our Zoom dog training sessions and whenever anyone feels down Anne will come up with something to make us remember how fortunate we are. She works for the NHS and though COVID has meant that she has had to pivot into different roles, she has done it with ease - from portering to visor making to greeting the public as they arrive at the Dental School.

“Recognising our key workers in key sectors throughout the last year is so important and I am delighted that Anne has a Gift Card to spend - it really made her day and is a wee thank you for all she has done and continues to do.”

Anne commented:

“I would like to thank Helen for nominating me, it was a pleasant surprise and to be honest I don’t think that I have been doing anything special, just trying to remain positive until we get to the other side of this Pandemic.

“Helen has been instrumental in this positive vibe too, sending care packages not just to me but to others too. It was through one of these gifts of a jigsaw that created a new hobby for me and I think this is what I will buy with my Gift Card.”

Ashley Bisland, Deputy Centre Director at The Centre, added:

“As part of The Centre’s Gift of Kindness campaign, we want to highlight and acknowledge small, everyday acts of kindness which have the power to spread a little happiness both near and far.

“We’ve had so many nominations over the last few weeks and it has been incredibly uplifting to hear about the ways in which our community is pulling together to support each other.

“We look forward to welcoming Anne and Helen back to The Centre to spend their Gift Cards once travel restrictions have been lifted.”

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