Isabelle’s 37 years at the heart of charity

Octogenarian Isabelle Marchbanks has been honoured after spending almost four decades as the lifeblood of the local British Heart Foundation charity.

The energetic pensioner has had her finger on the pulse of the local branch since its inception back in Hawick back in 1976 when she was asked by a friend to help form a committee, and since then she has been decidated to not only the role of secretary, but helping to raise awareness about heart disease – and more importantly, a grand total of £113,486 for the cause.

Congratulating Miss Marchbanks and thanking her for such hard work, Barbara Osborne, BHF Scotland’s head of volunteer fund-raising, told the Hawick News: “All of us at BHF Scotland would like to congratulate Isabelle on reaching this remarkable milestone, and thank her for all the hard work that she’s done over the years.

“We’re incredibly grateful for her loyal service to BHF Scotland and our Hawick fund-raising branch. Isabelle has done so much to raise vital funds and to raise awareness of heart disease in Hawick and beyond, building up strong relationships with local businesses, schools, clubs and many others.”

Miss Marchbanks says her initial commitment to the charity was sparked due to her own father dying from a massive heart attack, but has spoken of gaining great pleasure as part of the local committee. She told the Hawick News: “Thirty-seven years is a long time, but it doesn’t seem a long haul when you’re doing something you enjoy, and I’ve met some lovely people and a lot of new friends along the way.”

From sponsored walks and cheese and wine nights, to a popular Common-Riding hamper raffle, Miss Marchbanks has been at the centre of every local drive to raise vital funds. But she says that she felt now was the time to take a step back, and officially bowed out at the branch’s annual general meeting last week. She explained: “It’s time that the younger ones took over and we get some new ideas, although I will stay on the committee.”

And as the only member of the original committee, Miss Marchbanks will certainly remain at its heart.

Ms Osborne added: “Working with the rest of our team of dedicated local volunteers, Isabelle has made a huge contribution to our fight for every heartbeat.”