Top honour for Claire

Claire Bruce has received the ScotSpirit Award at this year's Great Scot Awards.
Claire Bruce has received the ScotSpirit Award at this year's Great Scot Awards.

A Ballater woman has been awarded the Scot Spirit Award for her community effort following Storm Frank.

Claire Bruce, director of Glen Tanar Estate in Royal Deeside, received the honour at the Great Scot Awards held at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on Saturday.

Ballater was hit by floods just before New Year. Picture: Comp

Ballater was hit by floods just before New Year. Picture: Comp

The award recognised Claire’s efforts in rallying businesses, communities and public sector organisations to come together following Storm Frank which devastated many parts of Aberdeenshire, leaving families homeless and businesses destroyed.

Following the storm Claire helped to house affected residents from Ballater and the surrounding areas who had lost their homes.

She was instrumental in helping with the immediate clean-up efforts cross the area, bringing together businesses, volunteers, the staff of Glen Tanar and many others to help minimise the impact of the flood.

A month after the flood, Claire organised a conference for local business owners, academics, industry experts and the public sector to bring awareness to the recovery needs, environmental impact and encourage collaboration to put Deeside back on the tourism map and ‘Open for Business’.

Claire said: “I’m honoured and incredibly humbled to be recognised with the Great Scot Award, but it wasn’t just me.

“Storm Frank was a one in 500-year flood which dramatically changed the landscape and affected more than 300 homes and 60 businesses - which is a monumental number in a rural area such as Deeside.

“Many agencies and volunteers worked in partnership and together tackled the problems in a direct pragmatic way.

“After the storm I felt compelled to do everything in my power to help the clean-up and re-building process but so did so many other people.

“What we have to remember is that while there has been a hugely effective clean-up process there are still around 50 families not back in their homes ten months on.

“The local businesses and families affected by Storm Frank are the epitome of ScotSpirit for showing resilience in adversity and bouncing back so positively from a natural disaster that could easily have broken our community, whereas Deeside is stronger than ever!”