WITH THANKS

I would like to thank the communities and businesses of Innerleithen, Cardrona, Traquair and Glen for their fantastic support of the BT Race to Infinity campaign.

We registered 100 per cent, with 1,956 people voting. Innerleithen was the only Scottish winner out of only six across the UK. By early 2012, Innerleithen, Cardrona, Traquair and Glen residents and businesses will be able to access broadband speeds of up to 40mbps download and 10mbps upload. In Cardrona this will be an 8,000 per cent improvement!

The campaign was boosted by the Switched on Sunday event in Innerleithen on December 12 when computers, based at Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Scotlight, Whistle Stop Café and Blackhall Consulting were made available to record residents’ votes. I’d like to express my gratitude to the organisers of Switched on Sunday for allowing us to join in their event.

Subsequently, every shop, pub, club, hotel and café collected signatures for us. The Co-op kindly gave the campaign team shelter from the extreme cold so we could collect more signatures inside the store.

Leaflets and posters were designed by Graham Riddell and Dominic Finn, who kindly also printed them. Keith Belleville, head of St Ronan’s Primary School, sent leaflets home with the children and extensively texted parents. We had a team of people from the various communities who distributed the leaflets, sent emails to their friends and neighbours, and added our campaign to their Facebook and Twitter networks.

The political coalition worked very well in this instance. David Mundell MP, Jeremy Purvis MSP and Jim Hume MSP used their influence with BT. Councillors Gavin Logan and Graham Garvie distributed leaflets and braved the cold weather to collect signatures in the High Street. My fellow community councillors, Ross McGinn and Jackie Couchman, joined me in the High Street to collect signatures, while Paul Faris encouraged the parishioners to vote.

I’d also like to thank BT for setting up the Race to Infinity campaign and Brendan Dick, BT regional director of Scotland, for his active support.

Graham Riddell needs special thanks for his excellent photographs during the campaign and at the winning group photocall on January 4. These gave us such excellent media coverage in the local and national press, TV and radio. Radio Borders ran a daily promotion for our campaign and the local papers – The Southern Reporter and Peeblesshire News – surpassed themselves with their weekly coverage.

Brian McCrow

(campaign organiser)

On behalf of our children’s charity, Radio Borders Cash for Kids, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your generous support in our Christmas appeal.

We were overwhelmed with the generosity and support that the appeal received and as a result we have managed to raise a staggering £2,400 in toys value and a further £730 from our collection tins and buckets. Overall, we were able to get over the £3,000 mark, which is a fantastic achievement for such a small area as the Borders.

All of the toys were wrapped and delivered to local children before Christmas and the appeal helped make Christmas special for more than 200 children. Without the help of you all this would not have been possible and so thank you.

Lynsey Graham

(station and charity director

Radio Borders Cash for Kids Ltd)

May I thank all those involved in making the Hogmanay fireworks in Melrose such a success. A very large crowd was entertained by the pipes and drums, and then by a dazzling fireworks display.

This event commenced in 2000 and has grown in popularity ever since.

It could not take place, however, without the support of members of Melrose and District Community Council, Melrose Rotary Club, Melrose Pipes and Drums, Lothian and Borders Police and the road staff at Scottish Borders Council. In particular, thanks must go to Keith McDonald of the Ship Inn, Melrose, and his team of helpers who arrange for the lighting of the fireworks.

Thanks are due also to all those who generously contributed to the collection to help defray the cost of the display.

William J. Windram

(chairman, Melrose and District Community Council)

Throughout 2010 members of the Earlston ladies’ branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland raised funds to help our returning injured service personnel.

We are delighted to report that with two coffee mornings and various donations we are able to help Erskine, St Dunstans, the Gurkhas and Gardening Leave by gifting each charity £450. We consider this an amazing show of support by the people of the village and thank them profusely.

Added to this was our local Poppy appeal which raised £1,725.25 and thanks again to all who gifted, as well as all the shop owners and collectors who helped bring in this very much appreciated amount.

At our recent meeting in deciding our new programme we also agreed to again have coffee mornings on May 14 and November 12.

We do hope that we will enjoy the same support this year so that our servicemen and women are aware of how much we value their efforts.

Jennifer Bryson

(secretary)