CARNOUSTIE has recently been the focal point of a number of successful charity campaigns, and it has been suggested that its residents are among the most generous in the country.
The success of campaigns such as the ‘Help Ayley and Chloe Walk’ and lately the running start of ‘Brooke’s Dream’ have also been linked to the robust nature of the local economy.
Averil Fleming, mother of twins Ayley and Chloe who suffer from cerebral palsy, is currently in the process of wrapping up their campaign.
She said: “Carnoustie as a whole is an amazing little town. I can’t walk down the street without people stopping me to chat, or ask about the girls.”
Even though the campaign is in its final stages Averil said: “There are still people out there doing stuff. I get ‘phone calls all the time from people saying they’ve raised money for us.”
She concluded: “Now people are helping Brooke, the support is just rolling on.”
Brooke Ramsay, who also suffers from cerebral palsy, has recently started her own campaign and has experienced the generosity not just of Carnoustie folk but also of people from neighbouring towns.
Her father Stewart said: “We’ve had a really good response. Averil’s campaign was massive, particularly here.
“In some respects we were daunted by all the effort that people had put in, and whether we would be so fortunate. It’s a lot to ask of people, for them to jump on our bandwagon too but our concerns have proved to be unfounded.”
Stewart praised the generosity of small businesses in the town which have been unstinting in providing raffle prizes.
He went on: “There is so much goodwill here. It has been very encouraging for us, if we’d had any setbacks early on that would have been devastating.”
Councillor Helen Oswald sees the outpouring of community spirit as typically Carnoustie.
She said: “I would say this is a measure of the kind of community we live in. The people always step forward to help the less fortunate. I have attended many fund-raisers in my time, and I am no longer surprised by the generosity of the people of Carnoustie.”
Peter Burke, chairman of Carnoustie Business Association, has a theory that charitable contributions and the economy are linked.
He explained: “Carnoustie seems to have been affected less by the recession than other parts of Angus.
“Because there has been less of an impact, people are feeling more confident and, as a result, have more time, energy and funds to devote to charity.”
A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The council is committed to securing a more prosperous and fair Angus by supporting the development of new and existing businesses, and by marketing Angus as a tourism destination.”
According to figures collected by Angus Council for their Carnoustie and District community profile, 81 per cent of the population feel optimistic about the future, while 88 per cent say they feel useful.
Just under 64 per cent of the population are in some form of employment, the highest rate in Angus, and less than three per cent claim Jobseeker’s allowance, the lowest in the region.
Angus South MSP Graeme Dey said: “Having lived in Carnoustie for 20 years I am well aware of the generosity of the local community, and the success of recent fund-raising activities reflects very well on our town and the surrounding area.”