Eilean follows in footsteps of late husband

Eilean Hogarth, her son David, daughter-in-law Sharon and granddaughters Aimee and Hollie Hogarth with the Duke of Buccleuch
Eilean Hogarth, her son David, daughter-in-law Sharon and granddaughters Aimee and Hollie Hogarth with the Duke of Buccleuch

A charity champion has followed in family footsteps by being presented with a British Empire Medal 28 years after her late husband picked up the same honour.

Eilean Hogarth, 80, of Kelso, was recognised for her services to charity in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June.

Eilean Hogarth is awarded the British Empire Medal by the Duke of Buccleuch.

Eilean Hogarth is awarded the British Empire Medal by the Duke of Buccleuch.

And last Wednesday, she was given her medal by the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, at Bowhill House in Selkirk.

Fittingly, that was the same location that her husband Jimmy collected his honour from the duke’s father at.

“It was very special,” she said. “The duke was absolutely wonderful. He laid on a lovely champagne and canapés reception for us. I had some of the volunteers from the shop there and my family with me.

“The duke of today’s father presented my husband with the same medal 28 years ago.

“We had the photo taken in the exact same spot as they did then. It was lovely. It was quite unique for us both.”

Jimmy, who died six years ago, was awarded his BEM in 1990 for his work with the Royal Observatory and after the 1988 Lockerbie tragedy.

Eilean still works at the Charity for Care shop in Kelso she founded in 2015 after volunteering for 15 years at the Charity Begins at Home shop across the road.

The shop has raised almost £250,000 in just three years for the Margaret Kerr Unit at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose.

She said: “The ladies in the shop are where I get my satisfaction from. They, like myself, are looking for some good to do. We all find it very rewarding.”

The duke, serving as lord-lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, described Eilean as a “hugely inspirational member of the community”.

“It truly was a great honour to meet Eilean and present her with this British Empire Medal,” he said. “She has been a hugely inspirational member of her local community who has made a difference to the lives of many, either through them becoming involved as a volunteer with one of her two charities with the real sense of purpose and companionship that this can bring, or by benefiting either directly or indirectly from one of their generous donations.

“It is hardly surprising that she has achieved this recognition for she is truly a heroine in our community, but the British Empire Medal is a national honour and one of which she is an outstanding recipient.”

Eilean was previously also named NHS Borders’ supporter of the year and Kelso Rotary Club’s citizen of the year in 2016.