Fundraisers Sukie and Bill pass £16k mark

Sukie and Bill Barber at home in Priestrig Croft.
Sukie and Bill Barber at home in Priestrig Croft.

A pop-up bakery is celebrating after selling its 13,000th scone, raising more than £16,000 for African charities over the last two years.

Sukie’s Scones, a monthly fundraising enterprise run by Hawick couple Bill and Sukie Barber, in Selkirk’s Tower Street, regularly pulls in more than £450 in a single day.

Sukie and Bill Barber.

Sukie and Bill Barber.

The couple have donated £10,455 to African charities and £285 to Nepalese ones since opening the shop in 2015.

Initially, all their funds went to the Zithulele Hospital and Jabulani Foundation in Natal but they now also support a food project at the Kabanana Orphanage in Zambia.

Sukie said: “We have always had a heart for helping people, especially in Africa.

“We had been supporting the hospital, and about six months ago, I felt that we should be supporting a feeding programme as well.

Sukie's Scones pop-up shop in Selkirk.

Sukie's Scones pop-up shop in Selkirk.

“The programme in Zambia is feeding 400 people every day based in an orphanage.”

Six of the couple’s eight children, aged 19 to 36, have visited Africa on volunteering expeditions, inspiring their parents to support programmes they’ve seen at work there.

Sukie, a member of Selkirk Baptist Church, said: “I knew I would have the support of my friends from the church in the early days.

“Since then, the people of Selkirk have been very supportive, and the shopkeepers are amazing too. We had one regular who claimed we’re his favourite shop ever and that we’re better than Fortnum and Mason in London.”

With the couple providing the ingredients for their preserves, scones and other baked goodies themselves, every penny raised in the shop goes directly to the charities, with last month’s sale amassing £488.

“I think scones have to be fresh,” Sukie said. “I get up at 6am to make three batches at home so that we open with fresh scones. The rest are baked in the shop throughout the day, which people love.

“Every month, the amount we take in a day is getting more and more.”

Sukie, 57, originally from Romney Marsh in Sussex, and Bill, 69, of Twickenham in London, lived in the Highlands for 35 years, running the Old Pines restaurant in Spean Bridge for 15 of those, before moving recently to Priestrig Croft at Wilton, near Hawick.

Due to the demands of running their own catering business and acting as foster parents, the couple have never found time to visit Africa themselves, and Sukie admitted: “We would love to visit these places, but I have always felt that the money that it would take to go is much better spent feeding the children there.

“We would like to thank our existing customers who have supported us so loyally and generously and those who help us run the shop, especially Joy Stevens and Jess Talbot.”

Sukie’s Scones opens on the fourth Friday of each month at 1 Tower Street.