Party for volunteers rounds off Piping At Forres success

The Rising Stars sang a specially composed song t0 thank the volunteers

Hundreds of volunteers who have given their support to Moray’s biggest one day event over the last six years have been thanked at a special party held in their honour.

Over 400 volunteers who have helped at Piping At Forres over the years were invited to the event held in the Chieftain’s Marquee in Grant Park on Sunday.

The party featured performances from local youth singing group Rising Stars who performed a number of songs including a specially commissioned number called Flowers of Forres.

The celebration of the volunteers had a youth theme as Piping At Forres has been celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People.

Piping At Forres was held for the last time on Saturday and organisers of the extravaganza thought it fitting to round off its presence with the volunteer party.

Joanna Taylor, a director with Forres Events Limited said: “This seemed such a great way to finish off what has been a tremendous six years for the town of Forres. It was important to the organising committee, who are all volunteers themselves, to give something back to all those who have supported Piping At Forres. The event simply would not have worked in the wonderful way that it has for the past six years were it not for the dedication of the volunteers.”

The guests were served afternoon tea and the two-hour party came to an end when lone piper, 21-year old Scott Burgess Hay played some rousing tunes in Grant Park, in tribute to the volunteers.

Each year around 120 volunteers help to support Piping At Forres.

Sandra MacIver, Piping At Forres’ Volunteer co-ordinator said: “There are so many reasons volunteers are critical to the success of Piping At Forres. For a start they all choose to be there, there is nobody there because it’s their job or they have to be at the event. They are also proud of the town and want to be associated with that.”

Sandra has been involved with Piping At Forres from the beginning: “I was invited to take on the role of volunteer co-ordinator and after meeting Gordon Bruce, who was the event manager for the first three years, I was very comfortable that he and the five directors, would create a first class event which would put Forres to the forefront of many people’s minds.

“Each year, we have about 120 different people volunteering. Some have done all six years and some who have only helped us for one year, but each and every one has been necessary.”

Heather Hatch whose Rising Stars performed at the event said she was delighted to be involved: “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be asked to be involved in this project. My students been so excited about performing at the event. They have worked hard learning the song and creating lovely harmonies and they did a wonderful performance that I am sure the volunteers found beautiful.”

Heather added: “The song was written by musicians Rona Valentine and Joe Harfield and three of my students, Megan Innes, Neve Smith, and Elysia Rennie and myself helped with the lyrics and creating harmonies.

“Flowers of Forres was written to celebrate community and friendship in Forres with a strong sense of what ‘home’ is.”