In perfect Harmony - MBE

THE Borders based charity Harmony, who entertain the frail and elderly in care homes, dementia units, day centres, hospitals and sheltered housing across the Borders, are being presented with The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service, today.

The charity is being rewarded after being nominated by members of the public for its outstanding voluntary contributions to the local community by providing free interactive musical performances.

Harmony will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, at a special presentation being made by the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, The Hon. Gerald Maitland-Carew, at a ceremony today, Thursday, August 4, at Grange Hall Care Home, Drygrange, Melrose.

The Lord Lieutenant said: “It gives me great pleasure to present The Queens Award for Voluntary Services to Harmony.

“It represents the high respect that the charity’s volunteers are held in.

“It is the highest honour that can be bestowed on voluntary groups and is the equivalent in status to the MBE”.

Violet Baillie, Harmony chair, and Jim Smith, secretary, said: “Last year 25 musicians provided 833 free concerts to older people in 85 different venues across the area.

“Our audiences, totalling over 16,000, joined in the performances by singing, dancing or just clapping along.

”We are absolutely thrilled that our work has received this recognition with this prestigious UK award”.

Almost 1000 groups around the UK have now received this annual award - equivalent in status to an MBE - since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002, and recognises both the work done by volunteers and also the rspect in which they are held.

For information on how to nominate a group, visit www.direct.gov.uk/qavs