Butcher goes the Extra Mile for struggling communityTuesday, 28th Nov 2023
And now Mark’s selfless commitment to the project has won him the coveted Scottish Craft Butchers “Extra Mile Award” 2023.
Nominated by local resident Anne Rodgers for his efforts in bringing the community together to support others, Mark has become the backbone of the project since his employer Ally Paul asked him to represent the business.
“Every Thursday morning, Mark produces a huge batch of sausages and burgers for the 5pm barbecue,” explained Ally. “He then clears everything away, returns it to the shop and does all the washing up afterwards.
‘Without Mark’s unfailing commitment, the project would not be the success it is.”
“I’m over the moon with this,” said a delighted Mark on receiving his award, sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
“I’m just happy to help other people,” he said, “and this outstanding recognition from Scottish Craft Butchers is both thrilling and humbling.
“It’s gradually become my responsibility over the months and I’m happy to represent A & I Quality Butchers at such a worthwhile community project,” he said. “I’m just really touched that people think the small part I play in helping others is worthy of an award. I’m very grateful.”
Smithton Church sits within a housing estate in a deprived area of Inverness where many people struggle to make ends meet in the cost-of-living crisis, while other are lonely and in need of company.
A & I Quality Butchers agreed to subsidise the food and Mark was assigned to ensure everything is in order for the 180-260 people who attend the church BBQ every Thursday.
“The BBQ is a big success in the area,” explained Anne, “with people enjoying subsidised food and the opportunity to meet with old friends and make new ones.
“Mark is extremely polite and greets everyone with a smile. He really has gone the Extra Mile to help the community and he deserves this award.”
Mark joined the Culloden butchers’ firm straight from school 19 years ago and has become the company’s go-to man for help with business, family and community tasks.
“Mark always goes the extra mile in everything he does,” said boss Ally, “and the recognition and gratitude shown by those involved in the Smithton Church community food night is testament to the high regard in which he’s held by everyone. He’s a real local hero.”
Gordon King, Executive Manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, said Mark was an “outstanding” winner of this year’s award.
“He ran with something he was asked to do by his employer to benefit the church in its support of the wider community 18 months ago and helped make it the success it is today, helping hundreds of people who benefit enormously from all his efforts,” he said.
“Mark should be immensely proud of everything he’s done – and continues to do – to ensure good food and good company are available to all at Smithton.”
For further information please contact:
PR Maureen Young on 07778-779-888
Claire Simpson, Training Manager, Craft Skills Scotland on 01738-637785