“High Street Heroes” in Kilwinning and Stewarton have been praised for their work during the coronavirus lockdown.

The two winners of the Regional Champion titles were nominated as part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign awards.

Community support team Aces took the title in North Ayrshire after delivering food, cleaning products and activity packs for kids to families in need.

Colin Young, community development officer, said: “I’m always proud to support our community, but this was just because we felt that we would have residents in need of a wee hand up rather than a handout.

“I’m very surprised to be given this award – and would like to thank everyone involved. It’s nice that our efforts have been recognised.”

In East Ayrshire, the prize went to William Allan & Son Butchers who provided discounts on food vouchers to local families who were struggling throughout lockdown.

The Stewarton store, which was established in 1903, is still operated by the same family – now in its fourth generation.

Business partner Alasdair McFarlane said: “I’m incredibly proud of the way that my family, staff and I continued to serve our community during the height of the pandemic and that we continue to do so on a daily basis.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we were nominated for such an award – but then to win one is a fantastic feeling.”

The awards aim to highlight the differences business and individuals have made to their communities throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “I would like to thank these High Street Heroes for going the extra mile to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am pleased the Scottish

Government has been able to support these awards through out funding for Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

“They typify the kind of community spirit that has supported people and improved lives.”

Phil Prentice, Scottish Towns Partnership chief officer, added: “They are an inspiration – local people helping their communities and customers like never before.

“They highlight the vital part that high street businesses play in our lives and why we must support them to ensure they continue to be there for us.”

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