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Great gran hailed as community hero

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By Euan Maxwell
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Great gran hailed as community hero

A DUMFRIES great granny has raised hundreds of pounds for the Scottish Ambulance Service after a week-long clear up of a cycle path.

Annie Campbell, 86, had been out every day cleaning up a stretch of overgrown verges, with her spade and brush, behind her Bloomfield home.

The gardening enthusiast began her clean-up mission with the intent of just tidying up the verges behind her house. But after looking around Annie decided to clean up a long-stretch of the path and raise money for the ambulance service in the process.

Annie – who gets up at 6 am for her daily two-mile walk – said: “I started cleaning up my own area but after I finished I wanted to do more. I’m always looking for a challenge, so I decided to do a long stretch of the cycle path and put a bucket beside me for people to donate. I wanted to raise money for the ambulance service as my husband Tam was ill for a number years before he passed away four years ago. In the last two years of his life the ambulance service was never away from our door.

“They do tremendous work and I felt the ambulance service was being forgotten about. I wanted to raise money for them as they are the first people on the scene picking the sick up and taking them to hospital.”

The paths now look in an immaculate condition since Annie has tidied up the verges and she has managed to raise a fantastic £322. Annie has thanked all the people who stopped to chat and who donated – she even put up a thank you letter on her fence to update people on how much she raised. She added: “People stopped and said I’m a community hero for what I was doing but I’m very modest and only doing what I think needed done. I’ve talked to people who I’ve never met and it’s been amazing. People joked if I was going all the way to Dumfries!

“I did this to help but I didn’t think for one minute that I would raise as much as I did. I want to thank everybody for their donations. Now I need to think of what I’m going to do next!”

Annie has been hailed for her superb community spirit. A Facebook post about her clean-up has gone viral with hundreds of shares. Dumfries resident Barbara Turnbull said: “’I saw her when I’ve been out walking/cycling and I’ve stopped each time for a wee chat and thanking her for doing a great job. It’s amazing what she has managed to do.” Annie’s neighbour Francis Walden added: “It’s remarkable the work Annie has done. She is always out and about. She should be known as the Lady of Bloomfield.”

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