Graeme Nominates Voluntary Action Angus Head as Local Hero

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Parliament Ceremony to Mark Outstanding Pandemic Response Efforts

Graeme has nominated the Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Angus, Hayley Mearns, as his Local Hero – to be honoured at the Scottish Parliament’s belated Opening Ceremony.

Ahead of the event planned for early October, each MSP put forward an individual from their constituency to be recognised for their extraordinary contribution to the lives of others during the pandemic.

The ceremony will celebrate their efforts in helping the most vulnerable and keeping communities together.

As head of Voluntary Action Angus, Hayley Mearns has overseen the charity’s support for the growth of volunteering, social enterprise and local third sector development – with Hayley having pushed for a more collaborative approach to the latter in Angus.

From March 2020, frontline emergency support mechanisms were developed and implemented through real partnership work with Angus Council and Angus Health & Social Care Partnership. Within three weeks, Voluntary Action Angus and the council’s Communities Team were responding to up to 100 requests per day at the height of the pandemic.

From left: Bill Muir, Aileen Campbell, Hayley Mearns and Shelley Hague.

Local Heroes like Hayley from across Scotland will be invited to take part in the Scottish Parliament’s Opening Ceremony either virtually or in-person – depending on the public health guidance at that time and their individual preference.

The involvement of Local Heroes in previous Opening Ceremonies has enabled MSPs to raise the profile of issues in their area, whilst also demonstrating that the Parliament belongs to the people of Scotland.


I am delighted to nominate Hayley for this recognition of the incredible efforts she has helped lead over the past year and a half.

Hayley, Voluntary Action Angus staff and the wider third sector across Angus have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to respond to the needs of  our communities, and I would like to take the opportunity to express my own profound gratitude.

In reality I was spoiled for choice when it came to nominating a Local Hero. It seemed appropriate therefore to pick the person who led what has been a fantastic team effort and fostered genuine collaborative working. In essence Hayley will attend Holyrood on behalf of that team.