Scotland’s relations with Europe might be in limbo, but that hasn’t stopped Ettrick Valley folk going continental for not one but two good causes.
Recent pop-up evenings at the reopened Tushielaw Inn have proved very popular, and as well as attracting visitors, they have raised funds for Borders Samaritans.
The idea came to husband and wife Steve Perry and Sue Briggs, and the latter said of the inn: “It is one of those ancient old coaching inns, and its setting is pretty remote.
“The council is keen to keep them going as pubs because they are under threat, so we wanted to help out and do something for the Samaritans too.”
Steve and Sue shared duties on the night.
Sue was front of house, while Steve, described as “a fabulous cook”, was installed in the kitchen.
“We did an Italian one with the red check tablecloths and candles in wine bottles, and our most recent one was French-themed,” said Sue.
“We had candelabras and a French sing-song, and everyone really enjoyed it.”
There was also a mini-auction which resulted in £330 being raised for Borders Samaritans.
One of the prizes was a chance to be cooked for in your own home by Steve, with Sue cleaning up afterwards.
“We wanted to do something that would help Borders Samaritans because I feel that sometimes they struggle to attract volunteers, like one of our local farmers, who enjoyed our French night.
“I think people often think that volunteers have to be people who have already retired, or that it’s all done in the middle of the night, but it’s not like that, and they do such great work.
Sue continued: “Our local volunteer spoke very movingly on the night about the important work of the charity – the distress of the people who call, the challenge of helping through listening and the tremendous personal reward when you receive feedback that you have helped someone through a difficult time in their life.”
There are plans for more themed evenings at the Tushielaw.
“Our neighbour is an excellent Sri Lankan cook, so we may persuade her and anyone else who wants to have a go,” said Sue.
Details on how to volunteer with Borders Samaritans are available on the charity’s website.