A group of Coldstream ladies which has raised almost £40,000 for Borders charities handed over the proceeds of its latest fundraising dinner this week.
Its bird-themed dinners have become much-anticipated events among Berwickshire womenfolk in recent years, and its latest was held in Coldstream Community Centre in October.
The dinner, served by a team of ex-Coldstreamers, featured an auction, entertainment and raffle, raising more than £5,400 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie.
This year, an extra event, an auction of a special whisky collection held at Coldstream Golf Club in November, added £2,417 to the amount raised by the group.
That took the total generated by the two events to £7,844.
Group committee members Linda Holmes, Sally Campbell, Carol Anderson, Susan Tait and Karen Mackinley have organised six bird-themed dinners to raise money for cancer charities over the years named after spring chickens, game birds, songbirds, nightbirds, exotic birds and, most recently, foreign birds, raising £39,479 altogether.
Supporting services in the Borders is an important goal for the five ladies, and earlier this week they handed over £3,922 to the Macmillan centre at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose and £3,922 to Marie Curie’s Borders branch.
Accepting the cheque on behalf of the Macmillan centre, Claire Irvine, a nurse for the cancer support facility, said: “Chemotherapy services are provided within a purpose-built area within the Borders Macmillan centre and the majority of Borders patients now receive chemotherapy locally.
“The service has seen continued growth and changing demand due to a variety of factors including increasing cancer incidents and availability of suitabletreatments.
“Many of the newer drugs are delivered in different ways which impact on the type of space required for delivery of service.
“The unit was opened in 2003, and although it still meets service demands, it would benefit from refurbishment and redesign to ensure the space we have will be used in the most appropriate way.
“This donation will go towards work identified as part of this review.
“Thank you for your donation and continued support.”
Fiona Beaton, a community fundraiser for Marie Curie’s Borders branch, said: “The money will be used for nursing care for terminally-ill patients in the Borders.
“ One hour of nursing care costs £20, and we have eight nurses in the Borders, mostly providing overnight care in patients’ homes.”
Explaining why the group chose Marie Curie, Linda said: “They provide so much help for people with life-threatening illnesses, from practical care such as help with equipping a room for people to be nursed at home to financial advice for those who are struggling.
“The home nursing is especially important, bringing light in the darkest hours.”