New Scottish National Day celebrates community spirit amid pandemic

COMMUNITY spirit united Scots as they came together to celebrate the first national ‘Thank You Day’.

The meaning of the celebrations was to say thank you to all the people who are helping others through the pandemic.

Multiple activities such as tartan tea parties, get-togethers and picnics were organized to mark the occasion.

Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. Debbie’s son Finley received a special thank you from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Stroke survivor Debbie Matthew, 45, who lives in Comrie, Perthshire, was one of the first to propose the National Day.

Debbie Matthews said: ‘I had a stroke five years ago when I was only 40. My recovery has been the most difficult journey of my life, but also the most incredible, emotional, determined and best journey at the same time.

cupcakes on a tray - Scottish News
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. All kinds of activities are organized on Thanksgiving such as barbecues, tea parties and picnics.

“Last year was particularly difficult, but I’m so grateful. That’s why I organized my own Tartan Tea Party and invited not only my friends and family but also the local community so I could thank them all for coming together and being there for each other .

Debbie hosted an outdoor Tartan Tea Party to thank her neighbours, with her 12-year-old son Finlay playing bagpipes in the street.

row of balloons - Scottish News
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. All events taking place on this national day have followed all current Covid restrictions.

The idea for the Thanksgiving Day grew out of a grassroots campaign to hold the UK’s biggest ever Thanksgiving Party to boost the community spirit created by the lockdowns.

The day had famous backers such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and was backed by organizations like Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Keep Britain Tidy and the Scouts.

Ms Matthew added: “I am grateful that we and our neighbors have come together as a community for the first time. Before the first confinement, I didn’t know many people around here.

street gathered around a table - Scottish News
Photo by Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland. The idea to start the day of thanks came from the community spirit that had been built during the confinement.

“But we take care of the elderly neighbours, do their shopping and take out the trash. My son Finlay has really helped take care of the neighbors, and I’m so proud of everything he’s done.