Duns Community Larder has moved into a permanent home outside the Volunteer Hall, thanks to a group of hard-working volunteers, lottery funding and the support of local businesses. The Wee Green Shed, as it is affectionately known, was officially opened by MP John Lamont on Friday 4 June. The larder’s move from its temporary spot in the Hall entrance follows the success of the scheme over the last year.
When the first lockdown was announced in 2020, communities across the country began to focus on how to help people, particularly those shielding and isolating. Emma and Jim McDevitt, from A Heart for Duns, had the idea of starting a Community Action Group to offer help with food shopping, prescription collection, or even just a reassuring chat on the phone.
Group volunteers then set up a table in the foyer of the Volunteer Hall as a place for sharing garden produce throughout the community. Hubbub, a charity with a network of community fridges across the UK, provided two community fridges which helped establish a Community Larder with the objective of reducing food waste.
It was well used by the people in Duns and the larder flourished, with generous support from Duns Co-op and FareShare – a network of organisations which distribute surplus food to nearly 11,000 frontline charities.
However, the hall foyer was only seen as a temporary arrangement and, after discussions with the National Lottery, funding was made available to create a dedicated space for the larder, with Fleming Homes and John Thorburn and Sons donating materials.
People in Duns have watched the Community Larder being built and equipped over the past few months. A Heart for Duns acknowledges that this could not have happened without the tireless efforts and enthusiastic input of a brilliant team of volunteers. Special thanks are due to Gordon Forbes, Kevin Simpson, Dave Philip and Stuart Renton.
As life returns to ‘almost’ normal we need more volunteers if we are to continue our ongoing essential community work. We also need help as we begin to open up the Volunteer Hall as a venue to host events and continue its many pre-pandemic activities.