Selkirk bookie’s praised for backing clubs and charities

Borders MP John Lamont, shop co-manager Denise McCallum and Willie Lynas, Scotbet district manager, at the chain's Selkirk shop.
Borders MP John Lamont, shop co-manager Denise McCallum and Willie Lynas, Scotbet district manager, at the chain's Selkirk shop.

Staff at Selkirk’s Scotbet bookie’s shop have been praised for their commitment to fundraising and volunteering work.

The Market Place business was a finalist in the first-ever awards for community betting shop of the year organised by the Association of British Bookmakers’ Scottish office.

It claimed third place in the competition, losing out to Ladbrokes in Dunoon in Argyll and Bute, the winner on the day, and second-placed William Hill in Johnstone in Renfrewshire.

ABB Scotland spokesman Donald Morrison said: “We launched this competition because we felt it was important to celebrate the amazing work that so many staff do in their local community through fundraising and volunteering.

“Many of our staff have worked in the industry for decades and take a real pride in their work and in their local community.

“This community spirit is perfectly illustrated in Selkirk, where shop staff have been making a real difference to their communities for years.”

The Selkirk shop was recognised for effortsby its staff including taking part in a skydive to raise £2,000 for the special care baby unit at the Borders General Hospital at Melrose and a shark dive at North Queensferry’s Deep Sea World to amass £2,400 for Bauer Radio’s Cash for Kids appeal.

Judges were also impressed by the shop sponsoring the town’s two bowling clubs and the Woll Golf Club and its subsidised outings to Kelso Racecourse for older customers otherwise unable to afford a day at the races.

As well as a trophy and certificate, the Selkirk team has been given £250 to pass on to its chosen charity, the special care baby unit at the Borders General Hospital.

Shop co-manager Andy Bennett said: “I’ve always believed it to be important to give something back, and I firmly believe it’s this passion for the local community that makes for such a nice atmosphere in the shop.

“I’ve met some amazing people through this industry, both staff and customers, and I really believe that it is something to be celebrated.

“It never fails to amaze me how generous our customers are when they get behind local causes, and it’s a source of real pride to manage this shop.”

Denise McCallum, the shop’s other co-manager, added: “We are absolutely delighted that our work in the local community has been recognised, and I’m really pleased for all our colleagues.

“They work hard to create a welcoming environment for customers and are committed to helping good causes in the community.”

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont has popped into the shop to congratulate staff on their achievement, and he said: “The staff at Scotbet in Selkirk have done the Borders proud, coming an impressive third in the community betting shop of the year awards.

“They have raised thousands of pounds for local causes thanks to their hard work and the generosity of Borderers.

“It’s great that by receiving this award, the Selkirk team have managed to raise even more money for a really worth cause, with another £250 going to the special care baby unit at the Borders General Hospital.”