Local chemist Helene Jaffray has spoken of her amazement at being awarded the highly-sought-after title of Pharmacist of the Year.
The Lindsay & Gilmour employee was revealed as the winner of the prestigious accolade at the Scottish Pharmacist Ball and Awards in Edinburgh on Saturday night, where she was the toast of around 500 fellow professionals.
Helene, who was nominated for the Oscar-style gong by her bosses, told the Hawick News: “I was totally shocked and excited to win, I had no idea until they opened the envelope and read out my name. It is such an amazing honour as it the most fiercely contested category at the awards, so I was extremely humbled.”
The mum-of-three previously worked at the health centre for 14 years before making the move up to Oliver Place, where she says the team work hard to provide the best service for their customers. She commented: “The thrill of winning this award is as much about being in the same category as people such as my former boss George Romanes whom I have huge respect for, as it is the thought that the company you work for thinks as much of you, and you are appreciated.”
Helene, who is originally from East Lothian but attended Kelso High School, has an honours degree in pharamacy from Robert Gordon’s University. And before arriving in Hawick, she helped set up a shop in Greenlaw alongside Mr Romanes – who owns six or seven shops, the main one being in Duns.
And now the dedicated chemist says she is more driven than ever to continue to take the Hawick pharmacy forward, with future plans to start offering new services such as DNA testing and vaccines, of which Helene says she has the full backing of her bosses.
The 47-year-old, who admits to having been on a high this week, added: “Winning this award is just brilliant, and it has given me a real push to try new things at the shop.
“It has given us all a boost and we’re looking forward to the future.”
The ceremony was held at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre.