Plexus staff raise £20k for charities with former colleagues in mind

Factory workers in Kelso have proven real bright sparks when it comes to supporting charities close to their hearts.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:08 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 6:24 pm
Gillian Wells of SiMBA, Plexus staff Laura McEwen, Richard Moffat and Emma Wichary, and Brian Renwick from NHS Borders.
Gillian Wells of SiMBA, Plexus staff Laura McEwen, Richard Moffat and Emma Wichary, and Brian Renwick from NHS Borders.

Staff at Plexus electronics factory raised more than £20,000 for charity thanks to generous staff who supported a year-long fundraising drive.

They presented £10,331 each to representatives from the Margaret Kerr Unit at the Borders General Hospital and Scottish charity Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA) last week.

That money was raised by the Pinnaclehill Industrial Estate factory’s 500 staff after manufacturing workers Emma Wichary and Laura McEwen nominated the palliative care unit and the baby loss support charity respectively.

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Plexus spokeswoman Emma Virtue said: “Every year we ask employees to put forward charities they would like us to help them support and the management team select them.

“Emma chose the Margaret Kerr Unit because we lost four people that worked here to cancer in 2018. They all used the unit in their final days so it was quite touching that she chose this charity for us. One of the ladies was really close to Emma.”

Dalkeith charity SiMBA, short for Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal, meanwhile, provides support to grieving families across Scotland who have lost a baby, offering counselling and creating memory boxes to help families remember time spent with their child.

“This is the first time we’ve fundraised for SiMBA,” Emma added. “It is a charity very close to Laura’s heart and one which provided a huge amount of support to her family a few years ago.”

Both Laura and Emma led the fundraising alongside 200-plus members of Plexus’s social events committee.

During 2019 staff supported events from silent auctions, sponsored silences and curry nights to monthly sweepstakes, days out to the pantomime and golf trips and Christmas jumper days.

Extra cash came from Emma selling flowers from her allotment and taking part in a charity football match, Laura’s daughter’s organised bag packs and extra donations from neighbouring tractor firm Lloyds and a sponsored walk along St Cuthbert’s Way from Maxton to Melrose.

This year Plexus will be raising money for the Catherine Elliot day centre in Hawick, nominated by Neil Silcock, and Malcolm McKnight’s chosen charity Borders Pet Rescue in Earlston.