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Banffshire Honours

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Congratulations to Des Cheyne, BEM

Company Director of The Spotty Bag Shop and Deveron Direct

Des has been honoured for his service to the community in Banff and the surrounding area during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The New Years Honours 2021 recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK, from all walks of life. 

Des becomes a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (known as the British Empire Medal).  The citation for his honour nomination reads:

"Des Cheyne is a leading businessman in the Banff area. He owns The Spotty Bag Shop, which stocks a very wide range of essential items, and Deveron Direct, a wholesaler supplying smaller businesses. During the COVID-19 crisis he has gone to extraordinary lengths to support the local community. This has included providing free goods to charitable organisations, maintaining critical supplies and finding imaginative ways to make essential items available to vulnerable people. His efforts have impacted positively on life in the local area during the pandemic.

In March 2020, at the start of the national lockdown, Des worked with Banff Academy staff to supply bags of stationery for families with limited resources for home schooling. Later he provided Macduff Parish Church with the same for Primary families struggling with home learning due to lack of paper, stationery and craft supplies. This was done without publicity.  His support for the vulnerable included donations to the local foodbanks and assembling packs of essential hygiene items for the elderly. There will be other causes that he has supported that are known only to the groups and recipients who benefitted from his practical care.

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Throughout the crisis Des has maintained supplies of basic essentials – such as hand sanitizers, disposable gloves and toilet rolls. To assist all customers, his innovative approach to the store layout meant these were available in a place that ensured the vulnerable spent only a minimum time in a public place. Early on he introduced rationing of such items to ensure equity for all.  He introduced a free delivery service to support those who were shielding

Banff and its locality does not have access to supermarkets that stock essential non-food items. By much effort and ingenuity in finding suppliers, Des maintained his stock allowing local residents access to necessities and stopping unnecessary travel. His skill in maintaining stocks even allowed some people in Banff to send supplies to families elsewhere in the UK.

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Des is born and bred in Banff and started his career with doorstep milk deliveries. He has built up his own shop into a business with a multi-million pound turnover. His entrepreneur skills have made the Spotty Bag shop an attraction for customers from a wide area and made a significant contribution to the local economy.

He provides employment for seventy-six very loyal local staff. He has won awards for the employment of staff with learning difficulties, as well as, in 2016, winning the Bespoke Retailer of the Year at the Scottish Independent Retail Awards and the Best Family Retailer/Shop at the Aberdeenshire Raring2Go awards.

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Des has a passion to see the local area thrive. He is active in several community and business initiatives and sponsors local groups. He organises the free annual reindeer parade - the largest single event in Banff’s year.  

His commitment to the local community is first in Des’ life. The extraordinary lengths he has taken to serve others throughout the COVID-19 pandemic reflect his desire to use his position as a successful businessman to support the locality."

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