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Flower power transforms the Whitesands

By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Flower power transforms the Whitesands

A TRANSFORMATION of the Whitesands is being celebrated — with flower tubs introduced following a volunteer-driven makeover.

Work has been underway since the beginning of February, with ex-head teacher Anne Simpson, town centre ambassador Lorraine Wilson and a number of volunteers cleaning signs, street furniture and removing weeds, moss and other detritus.
Anne said: “I just feel that Dumfries needs a wee bit of tender loving care — a wee bit of smartening up.
“I contacted Lorraine and asked how I could help, and of course Lorraine and Mark (Jardine, The People’s Project) grabbed me with both hands.”
And Anne added: “I organised a little voluntary group — my friends, really, who are all retired, and I thought the Whitesands was looking really rather shabby so decided that would be a good project to do.”
The work came under the umbrella of the ‘Spring Clean’ organised by The People’s Project, and which has been extended until the end of June.
Moss was scraped, the weeds and silt removed, and after trees had been uprooted by flooding a decision was made to place flower tubs.
Anne said: “I wrote out to sponsors and businesses, clubs and organisations have been brilliant sponsors. We’ve got 12 sponsors, and 11 tubs.”
Local primary school and nursery children within walking distance of Whitesands have also been enlisted to help maintain the tubs.
Retired Lochmaben Primary head teacher Anne said: “I knew this would be a good part of the curriculum, and I’m passionate about involving young people in their local community and environment, and I think the younger you get them the better.”
Plaques for sponsors and schools have been erected on the tubs, and Anne added: “The community involvement has been fantastic.
“It’s actually quite humbling, really.”
Anne suggests more projects might follow in time, but that her next priority is her own garden.
A spokesman from The People’s Project has expressed thanks to local businesses and groups who have agreed to sponsor a tub, and said: “I must extend my grateful thanks to Anne and Lorraine and the team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly through all weathers to achieve this goal, and they are an inspiration to others, showing what might be possible with that old fashioned spirit of hard graft and ingenuity.”




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