The Southern backs Margaret Kerr Unit appeal

MELROSE,  UNITED KINGDOM - 31 Aug 2011: 'Margaret Kerr Campaign Launch'Kick starting the appeal 'Media Partners Southern Reporter represented by Editor Bob Burgess along with Appeal Chairman James Marjoribanks and NHS Borders Chairman John Raine'with one of the newly crafted iconic boots that will be part of the fundraising campaign''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance)
MELROSE, UNITED KINGDOM - 31 Aug 2011: 'Margaret Kerr Campaign Launch'Kick starting the appeal 'Media Partners Southern Reporter represented by Editor Bob Burgess along with Appeal Chairman James Marjoribanks and NHS Borders Chairman John Raine'with one of the newly crafted iconic boots that will be part of the fundraising campaign''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance)

THE Southern Reporter is officially endorsing the campaign to raise £1million for a specialist inpatient palliative care unit at the Borders General Hospital.

The Margaret Kerr Unit appeal will be launched today when two huge orange and white running shoes will cross the “starting line” for the fundraising effort.

Work on the unit, named after the retired nurse who left £600,000 “to support the creation of a hospice in the Borders”, is due to start next spring with completion scheduled for early 2013. It will be created by remodelling and extending one end of an existing ward building.

The unit will have its own entrance with adjacent landscaping and car parking, while retaining an essential link to the main body of the hospital. It will contain patient rooms ands clinical areas, day rooms and accommodation for relatives.

The aim is to create a comfortable, welcoming and peaceful environment.

Yesterday, Southern deputy editor Bob Burgess met NHS Borders chairman John Raine and fundraising appeal chairman James Marjoribanks, to pledge the newspaper’s commitment to the campaign.

“We know from our readers how much such a facility will mean to the Borders and we want to do all we can see it come to fruition,” said Mr Burgess.

“The last major fundraising campaign we supported was for the MRI scanner and we have no doubt this magnificent unit will similarly be of tremendous community benefit.

“We want to help publicise the various events, large and small, which we know the people of the Borders will be organising and to keep our readers abreast of progress.”

The appeal seeks to raise the “final million” to cover the balance of the £4.5million capital cost of the unit. In addition to Miss Kerr’s legacy, substantial sums have already been secured from charitable trusts and individuals.

Pictured, from left, John Raine, Bob Burgess and James Marjoribanks