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Perth Office Wins Union Recruitment Honour for Second Consecutive Year

Margaret, Katy and Marc named as winners of NFUS Flame Award

The Membership Flame – an NFU Scotland award that recognises outstanding efforts in recruitment and retention of members - has gone to the hard-working Perth team of Margaret Hebbourn, Katy Neill and Marc Robb.    The achievement is all the greater given that Margaret and Katy have only been in post since 2017 and Marc joined the team late last year.

Looking after the interests of almost 500 members across four branches – Perth, Crieff, Blairgowrie and Highland Perthshire – it makes them three of the busiest secretaries in the Union’s nationwide network. The Perth office finished 2019 having recruited 39 new members, soaring past the subscription target set for the year.  That is on top of the 22 new members the office recruited in 2018 when they won the award for the first time.



The Perth team celebrated opening their new offices at Broxden Business Park in January 2019 and continue to go from strength to strength.

Presenting the award at the Union’s annual conference and AGM in Glasgow, Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “To recruit 61 new members in two years is an astonishing achievement and it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the team in Perth on receiving this award for the second year in a row.  

“Their achievement is even more astonishing given that Margaret and Katy only started with NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual in 2017 and Marc joined the agency late last year.

Former East Central Regional Chairman Roddy Kennedy, a member of Highland Perthshire branch said: “Their enthusiasm in invigorating the membership and branch activity is infectious.  They have built an online following for their branch Facebook page and they have proved that branch meetings don’t need to be the same old format, and that has seen an exciting programme of meetings and events enjoyed by all.  

“Providing an exciting, different, first-class service to the farming community is the key to both recruiting new members and keeping our existing ones and Margaret, Katy and now Marc have continued to go above and beyond with their performance this year.”  

The Union’s unique local secretary network – which works on behalf of both NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual - continues to provide an excellent service to members around Scotland.  It also generates great loyalty.  

This January saw two of the Union’s longest serving secretaries reach significant milestones with Michael Coutts, in the Castle Douglas office recording an incredible 35 years as a branch secretary and Euan Warnock, from the Oban office, marking 25 years of service.

Long service celebrations in 2019 included Margaret Farquhar celebrating 25 years in the Shetland office and Wilma Benson marking 20 years looking after the Wigtownshire branch from Stranraer.  

In December, long-serving secretary Nicky Brown retired from the Lanark office with Nigel Power joining the team in Lanark last month.  Other new recruits to the secretary team include Colin Duncan in Inverurie and Innes Carruthers in Dumfries.

Notes to Editors

  • Former NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren started an award in 2011 called the Membership Flame.   It is given each year to recognise those who have made significant progress in securing subscription income.  
  • The 2011 winners were Dumfries and Galloway Region and in 2012 the award went to North East Region. The winners in 2013 were Rob Beatty and Jeremy Parker from Forfar and in 2014 the title went to Skye secretary Jake Sayles.  In 2015, the award returned to Rob Beatty and Jeremy Parker.  2016 winners were Tommy Brodie and Ross Silvers based at Inverurie and in 2017 the title went to the Borders West team of Richard Forsyth, Rory Murray, Laura Bell and Joyce Grigor based at Newton St Boswells. Winning in 2018 were Sally Heggie and Louise Graham from Dumfries. Margaret Hebbourn and Katy Neill from Perth were the award winners in 2019.
  • A photograph of NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker (left) and NFU Mutual Chairman Jim McLaren (right) presenting the Membership Flame to Margaret Hebbourn and Marc Robb is attached.


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006


Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 10/20


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