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Wigtownshire Charities Recognised at Royal Carol Service

The dedication of Wigtownshire charity stalwarts who have worked tirelessly to support their communities throughout the pandemic has been recognised by the Duchess of Cambridge at a Royal Carol Service.

John Brennan and Kirsty Currie, together with their partners, were nominated by the Lord Lieutenant of Wigtown, Aileen Brewis, to attend the glittering service Together at Christmas held in Westminster Abbey earlier this month.

The service, which will be shown on ITV on Christmas Eve, was the idea of the Duchess who defined it as: “a celebration of life in our communities, and illustrate how acts of kindness, empathy and love can nurture and reconnect us.”

John Brennan is Chair of Home-Start Wigtownshire which has been supporting young families in the county for more than 20 years. Throughout the pandemic the charity has been continuing to support all the families by tailoring its contacts according to the ever-changing guidelines around safely meeting others. The work is carried out by seven full and part time staff and twenty-nine volunteers.

Kirsty Currie was nominated for her many years of charity service to the people of Whithorn. She is Chair of the Community Council, a Trustee of the All Roads lead to Whithorn Trust and a founder member of the Covid 19 Resilience Group as well as being involved in many other community projects and charities.

The Duchess, who was accompanied by Prince William said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us all with countless and previously unimaginable challenges. We have lost loved ones, seen our frontline workers placed under immeasurable pressure, and we have experienced heart-wrenching isolation from those we hold most dear.
“Alongside this, we have seen how communities have come together to support those most in need. And through our separation from others, we have been reminded just how powerful human connection is to us all. Just how much we need one another. And how loving and feeling a sense of belonging to one another can provide comfort in tough times. The importance of simply being together.
“In our roles, William and I are so fortunate to meet and spend time with phenomenal people across the country who day-in day-out support individuals and families. And over the past two years, we have been truly inspired by countless people who have brought their communities together through simple acts of love and kindness. This Carol Service is our small way of recognising the inspiring contribution so many of you have made.”

The service was also attended by HRH Princess Beatrice of York and her husband Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi; HRH The Countess of Wessex; and Mr and Mrs Mike Tindall.
The service will be broadcast in the UK on ITV at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve.

Prince William and Paralympian Kim Daybell gave readings from St Luke’s Gospel.
There was music from Leona Lewis who sang O holy night; and from Ellie Goulding who sang Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay read his own composition, commissioned for the service, reflecting on love and togetherness at Christmas.

Actor Tom Felton read A letter from a soldier to his sister at Christmas; and broadcaster Kate Garraway read Christina Rossetti’s poem Love came down at Christmas.
The Venerable Tricia Hillas, Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster, gave a reflection, and led prayers at the Abbey’s nativity crib.