A fundraising group has called it a day after serving Hawick for 40 years and adding £125,000 to a charity’s coffers, but it hopes that a new generation will soon step into the breach to fill the gap it leaves behind.
Members of the town’s branch of the British Heart Foundation have played an active role in that charity’s life-saving work over the last four decades.
But sadly, nothing lasts for ever, and now the ladies hope new blood will come forward to continue their good work.
Founding member and secretary Isabelle Marchbanks said: “We had a final dinner on our 40th anniversary at the Mansfield House Hotel.
“We have had some super functions over the years and have built up some lovely friendships.
“I volunteered originally because my father died after suffering a massive heart attack, and most volunteers became involved because they had been affected by heart disease.
“Sadly, it’s harder to get people to join up to committees now.
“As you get older, it is not as easy to come up with fresh ideas, and although we did attract younger members, they would often leave to get married or leave Hawick.
“But if anyone is interested in launching a group, they can still call me, and I will help any way I can.
“It’s important that people volunteer to help, whatever the charity.
“A few days after our final dinner, one of the British Heart Foundation chief officers called from Edinburgh to thank myself and the other committee members for our work. That meant a lot.
“As we say in Hawick, we were chuffed about that.
“We have held so many fundraising functions over the years and raised, at a rough estimate, £125,000.
“It’s been a hugely enjoyable and rewarding 40 years.”
Sarah Miller, British Heart Foundation’s fundraising manager for the Borders, hailed the group’s 40-year lifespan as a “sensational milestone”.
She added: “40 years is an incredible achievement. This is the first time we have had a branch or group reach this sensational milestone.
“Fundraising groups and branches are vitally important to the British Heart Foundation. We have a network throughout Scotland, and they give us local knowledge and a voice in the community.
“We are funding some incredible research in Scotland – over £60m worth.
“There is a real need for it as cardiovascular disease is Scotland’s biggest killer.
“If anyone would be interested in keeping the branch going, please encourage them to get in touch with me either by phone or email on 07702 917 677 or at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Isabelle can be reached on 01450 378108.