Borders fundraisers pick up awards at the double

Florence Charlotte, assistant shop manager Debby Strain and Lorna Duncan from the Cancer Research UK Peebles shop at Cancer Research UK's annual Flame of Hope Awards Ceremony.
Florence Charlotte, assistant shop manager Debby Strain and Lorna Duncan from the Cancer Research UK Peebles shop at Cancer Research UK's annual Flame of Hope Awards Ceremony.

Volunteers from the Borders have notched up successes at the double at a national award ceremony.

Fundraisers in Selkirk and Peebles were recognised for their outstanding contributions to Cancer Research UK at its Flame of Hope ceremony in London.

Elaine Monro from Selkirk was named Pioneer of the Year at Cancer Research UK's Flame of Hope Awards.

Elaine Monro from Selkirk was named Pioneer of the Year at Cancer Research UK's Flame of Hope Awards.

The charity’s shop in Peebles High Street was named the best in the UK, and Selkirk’s Elaine Monro won the title of pioneer of the year.

Despite being one of the smallest stores in Scotland, the Peebles shop has raised over £2.5m for research.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, it recently installed a donation station at the Co-op in Innerleithen.

Shop volunteers also raised funds and provided information on reducing cancer risk during a run of The Naked Truth, a play about breast cancer by Dave Simpson, at the town’s Eastgate Theatre in March.

Assistant manager Debby Strain said the team was “absolutely delighted” to win the award.

“This fantastic achievement couldn’t have happened without the support and dedication of our wonderful volunteers, and also all the amazing donations handed into the shop,” she added.

Cancer Research UK Selkirk fundraising committee member Elaine took home the pioneer prize for her innovative work with Lochcarron of Scotland.

Her idea, to create a scarf in the charity’s colours, has been a huge success, with her design now officially registered in the Scottish Register of Tartans.

Around 1,200 scarves have been sold, with Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger and musical theatre star Michael Ball among a host of celebrities pictured wearing one.

Elaine said: “The Flame of Hope award really belongs to all those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get the project to this point.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine sales of the scarf would take off in the way they have.

“The support shown by the people of Selkirk and the Borders has been amazing.”

Victoria Steven, a spokesperson for the charity in Scotland, said that Debby and Eleaine were “incredible”.

“These awards are our way of honouring the people who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease and yet ask for nothing in return,” she added.