At the end of the year, I always like to look back and reflect on some of the people I have met and events I have attended in communities across South Ayrshire.
Christmas is a time of giving but it’s also a time to remember those that struggle during the festive season, a quick visit to an elderly neighbour living on their own can make all the difference. It’s these small acts of kindness that make Christmas special.
I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Recently we remembered those that made the ultimate sacrifice in times of war. 2018 marked 100 years since the end of the First World War and the birth of the RAF.
We welcomed home soldiers from 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland following their six month tour of Iraq, South Sudan and Cyprus.
During the summer we received 30 peace seeds from ‘A-bombed’ gingko trees in the Japanese city of Hiroshima to commemorate the people who died there. These seeds will be planted across South Ayrshire to symbolise peace, friendship and hope.
Young people from all our secondary schools took part in the annual Provost’s Footprint Challenge and schools and young people were involved as we celebrated Commonwealth Day and the importance of working together to create a better future.
Part of my role as Provost it to welcome visitors to South Ayrshire and this year we greeted two French delegations - from Torcy twinned with Girvan and from Villeneuve Sur Lot twinned with Troon.
Both South Ayrshire towns celebrating 30 years of friendship with their Gallic counterparts.
There have been lots of charity events again this year particularly involving the Ayrshire Hospice - the council’s main supported charity.
Young people from Chernobyl in Ukraine were back again this year as part of a radioactive contamination respite project. We donated £5,000 to the South Ayrshire Dementia Support Association (SADSA) a charitable organisation providing specialist day care seven days a week for those diagnosed with dementia.
Achievements of a sporting kind were celebrated at a special civic reception at Ayr Town Hall. We looked back on World records, historic league title wins, and gold-medal winning performances as we honoured ten South Ayrshire sportspeople and clubs who made 2018 their own.
Throughout the year the Depute Provost and I have been celebrating with couples marking special wedding anniversaries and we have also been present for some 100th birthday celebrations too.