Owl carving the perfect tribute for youth worker

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A tribute has been carved out in memory of a much-loved youth worker from Hawick.

A year ago, mother-of-two Wendy Wilson lost her battle with breast cancer.

It was a huge blow, not only to her devoted family but also to staff and young people at Escape Youth Services in Havelock Street, Hawick, where Wendy, a senior youth worker, had been a stalwart since 2009.

As part of her legacy, the 47-year-old stipulated that some of the proceeds from her funeral collection should go towards bolstering work at the youth drop-in facility.

Staff decided that money should be used to commission Hawick-based tree and chainsaw sculptor Mark Hume to create an artwork in her memory.

Mark was asked to make a sculpture of an owl – the nocturnal bird of prey of which Wendy was particularly fond.

Now the completed sculpture takes pride of place outside the youth cafe building.

Sian Snowdon, manager at Escape Youth Services, said: “We asked that it be located just outside the premises, but also looking in the direction of Wilton Hall, where Wendy lived and where her husband Ian and their children still live.

“It’s almost as if she is still keeping an eye on both work and her family.

“Some of the money raised from the funeral collection will also go towards an external fence at the premises.”

Sian added: “Wendy was brilliant. She started off with us as a seasonal youth worker one evening a week and went on to become a senior youth worker.

“She always gave 110 per cent and the kids really loved her. She was a big part of the ‘Escape’ family.

“Wendy is a really big miss and we wanted to do something to keep her memory alive.”