Christmas is a time that brings people together – friends and family exchanging presents and enjoying festive food.
However we must not forget those within our communities for whom this time of year can be stressful and challenging as they face increasing financial hardship.
This is why I was so pleased that Angus people rallied round once again this year to support the annual Angus Foodbank Christmas Appeal.
Angus Foodbank supports vulnerable people at Christmas and throughout the year, and it is heartening that during such a busy period, our citizens took the time to think about how they could help others.
And it’s not just at home that we consider others. Communities across Angus have been working for some time to ensure a fairer deal for third world producers.
This recently resulted in the county receiving the great news that our Fairtrade Zone status had been renewed for a further two years.
To all those volunteers and unsung heroes who give up their time to make a difference, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for all their efforts.
I am constantly inspired by the people I meet as Provost – from our Special Olympians who successfully took part in this year’s Great Britain National Summer Games, to the outstanding individuals and organisations who were recognised at the 2013 Angus Ambassadors Awards. They are all a great credit to the county.
Looking forward to the New Year, some major events will keep our fantastic county and its people in the international spotlight.
Arbroath will be the place to visit next April as it hosts an exciting Homecoming Scotland event as part of the annual Tartan Day Scotland Festival.
In July, we’ll be a host venue for the XX Commonwealth Games, and we’re looking forward to giving a great Angus welcome to athletes and spectators from all over the world for the shooing competition at Barry Buddon.
I look forward to working with you once again to make Angus a great place to live and visit, and I wish you all a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2014.
Angus Provost Helen Oswald