Forres mums put on a ‘red hot ice cream’ party in Grant Park for P7 leavers

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Around 100 P7s gather in Grant Park for outdoor leavers' party

Around 100 Primary 7s who ‘left’ school during lockdown and never got to have a proper leavers’ day were treated to a ‘party in the park’ on a hot summers day with free ice cream and a send-off they’ll never forget.

Mum-of-three Fiona MacDonald was upset that her son and everyone in his year would miss out on their leaving parties. With the help of her sister Kathy Williams, who also has a P7 leaving primary school, she set about organising the big party in Grant Park to give all the P7s a day they would remember.

Fiona said: “My son is a primary 7 leaver. I was upset for him and all the kids that the school ended so abruptly, they didn’t get any of their original P7 leavers assemblies, days out, parties or anything. I got the idea into my head to do something for them so they know they haven’t been forgotten and that we are all proud of them.”

She was advised by the council to wait for Phase 3 as under-12s would be able to meet without social distancing.

“I originally tried to do this for the last day of term but it was denied by the council due to Covid and they told me to wait until Phase 3 of lockdown so that’s what I did.”

Amazing turnout

“The turnout was amazing, there was an S6 leaver who made a speech and also a teacher from the support department at Forres Academy said a few words.

“All the kids seemed to enjoy themselves, getting to see their friends again and just getting out to the park, it was a great feeling seeing it so busy.”

Two young pipers aged 13, and who have been recorded playing with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers in Edinburgh, piped some tunes for the crowd, and all were treated to ice creams.

“The ice creams came from Mathers’ kiosk at Grant Park. They had been amazing from the moment I ran the idea with them. They filled a freezer full of tubs of vanilla ice creams and put it across from their kiosk for us to hand out after the pipers had finished.

Mathers kindly donated all the ice creams that were given out on the day.

Marc Hindley
Author: Marc Hindley

Marc has worked as journalist and photographer all over Scotland. He also runs a PR and digital marketing agency Canary Dwarf. He has lived in Forres with his wife and three children since 2001.