The Jewel in the Crown was how Dr Liam O’Toole described the Scottish Borders branch of Versus Arthritis when he received a cheque totalling £11,177.95 as the fundraising total for 2018/19.
Liam O’Toole, chief executive of Versus Arthritis, was paying his first visit to Melrose on Friday evening and addressed a large crowd of supporters in Melrose Rugby Club.
“Scottish Borders branch is one of our most active branches in the UK and one of the charity’s top income fundraisers,” said Mr O’Toole.
“You’ve been with us through a lot of changes at the charity. 2018 was a momentous year for Versus Arthritis. After Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK came together in 2017, we launched our new charity in September.
“We knew we needed to and could do more for people with arthritis. As Versus Arthritis we could create more communities just like this one and reach more people living with arthritis.”
“As the biggest arthritis charity, we want to convey just what impact arthritis and related conditions can have for over 17 million people in this country. Communities like the one here in the Borders are key to us continuing to challenge perceptions and in reaching as many people as possible living with the condition. “
One of the successes the branch achieved was the Borders Challenge where individuals and small groups raised small amounts through local coffee mornings, lunches and craft sales in private homes. The 2018/19 year was the 45th anniversary of the branch.