INDEPENDENCE Group of the Year Award winner Believe in Scotland (BiS) is a separate offshoot of Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s Business for Scotland organisation.

Much of the praise was for Gordon himself, with one of those who nominated him saying: “Gordon is a one-man campaign.”

Another said: “Believe in Scotland has supported grassroots Yes movement campaigning to persuade more of our fellow citizens of the strong case for independence.

“This support includes a website and social media channels, training in key skills to support active campaigning, forums to bring grassroots activists together and the distribution of 20,000-plus copies of the Scotland The Brief book.”

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MacIntyre-Kemp said: “This award is for a big effort from a lot of people so I want to accept it on their behalf and say thank you to our staff, our volunteers and especially all of our local Yes group partners who worked with us during the year.

“Believe in Scotland was formed in response to hearing the same thing from about 20 local Yes groups I was presenting to in late 2018 early 2019.

“They were frustrated, they wanted materials to campaign with and something more substantial than homemade leaflets. They needed a central organisation to support them and coordinate the campaign.

“That’s when we conceived of both Scotland the Brief, our push to win voters over to the obvious truth that Scotland will thrive economically as an independent nation, and Believe in Scotland as the umbrella organisation to help deliver effective campaigns. Believe in Scotland, like many other campaigns, had to adapt quickly when the first lockdown happened, cancelling dozens of our training events and lunches as well as our two biggest fundraising events of the year.

“Fortunately, we have so many really great volunteers and team members and this award is for them as without them we wouldn’t have been able to reach so many potential voters with our positive messages about Scottish independence.”

MacIntyre-Kemp added: “Some 67 local Yes groups actively campaigned with us, selling books and delivering leaflets and several Yes Groups continued to use our materials in social distanced street work. Our volunteers such as John and Elizabeth McKay took the campaigning materials home with them when we closed the office and made sure books, leaflets, mugs and badges etc still got delivered.

"Guys such as Richard Anderson and Alex McCulloch who did the bulk of the driving, and Rosalyn Faulds, Paul Colvin, Graeme McCormick and Donald MacLean who came to our aid and packed boxes and stuffed envelopes when we realised we had about 3000 orders to fulfil following the launch of Believe in Scotland in January 2020.

“We also started a Facebook group late in the year which has now grown to around 12,000 members.

“We moderate that group quite strictly and don’t get involved in the internal politics and negativity that we’ve seen elsewhere.

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“Moderating the group and facilitating the conversation is a huge job and we have seven volunteer moderators including Chris Hanlon, Susan Procadiar, Gill Bannister, Derek Mair, Pauline Tool, Ruth Reavell and Doll Ruadh. We try to reach out to the best in one another and create a safe space to discuss Scotland’s future and we believe it’s really making a difference.”

MacIntyre-Kemp continued: “Our research team at HQ in 2020 included Sam MacKinnon, Emma MacFarlane and Dr Sotirios Frantzanas, with Michelle Rodger handling our press and social media and Stewart Bremner our designer, our ten board members that advise and help set strategy especially, our Chairman Rob Aberdein.

“Our intranet for donors and supporters built by Deneka MacDonald is nearing 1000 members and we see people joining Believe in Scotland through our pledge and membership schemes as the way to take our campaign to the next level in 2021.”