Stirling NeighbourFood, run by local charity Forth Environment Link, has been named as an outstanding rural innovation at the 2018 Scottish Rural Innovators Awards.

Held every two years, the awards are organised by Scottish Rural Action to highlight excellence in rural innovation in meeting the needs of rural communities. The winning projects will all be showcased at the Scottish Rural Parliament, which is being held in Stranraer from 14-16 November.

Stirling NeighbourFood (formerly Stirling Food Assembly), is an online farmers’ market which runs collections every Thursday evening 4.30-6.30pm at Stirling High School.

Commenting on the charity’s win in the Food & Drink category, Emily Harvey from Forth Environment Link said: “This award reflects the commitment of our local producers and customers over the past two years to supporting local and sustainable food. Our online farmer’s market combines the best of both worlds, using an e-commerce platform for ordering and retaining a more traditional market feeling with face-to-face collections. What we really love about our journey so far is that this project is as much about people as it is food, it has facilitated intergenerational food experiences, social feel good factor, producer networking and innovation and provided a platform for us to further our charitable aims of improving access to local food.”

Other winners include: Kirrie Connections from Kirriemuir, The Mountains and the People based in Balloch, Balquhidder Community Broadband from Balquhidder Glen and Brechin HealthWatch run by pupils from Brechin High School.

Emma Cooper, Chief Executive of Scottish Rural Action, the organisation that runs the awards, said: “The Rural Innovators Awards are incredibly inspirational and showcase just some of the amazing work led by communities in rural Scotland. More than two and a half thousand people voted to select the winners. Each one of these projects demonstrate how communities can take action to address the challenges and opportunities their particular communities face, they are all outstanding examples of rural community empowerment.”

The winners will each receive a fully funded place at the Scottish Rural Parliament to present their project to hundreds of delegates representing communities, organisations and public agencies across Scotland.