Students honoured for fundraising drive

Borders College  animal care graduates
Borders College animal care graduates

Horse care students Rebecca Miller, Katie Duncan and Lucie Shand were among the prize-winners at this year’s Borders College graduation ceremony, held in Kelso on Friday.

The three pals were presented with a citizenship award at the graduation ceremony at Springwood Park.

They were given a citizenship award for their fundraising efforts, along with other friends, in memory of fellow student Caroline Taylor-Smith, of Duns, following her death at the age of 18 in a road accident on the Berwick-to-Duns road at Chirnside in June last year.

In April, they hosted a fund raising modern pentathlon and bought a commemorative bench, with a plaque, to be placed outside the office at the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre, near Selkirk.

Horse care students train there, so the bench enables them to admire the views while remembering their clate lassmate.

A cherry tree was planted in Duns public park and donations were made to the British Horse Society to help with the welfare of horses, the Scottish Air Ambulance Service and the Ettrickbridge and Dryden Riding for the Disabled group, which runs weekly sessions at the equestrian centre.

The final part of the funds raised will go towards buying a saddle for two rescue ponies rehomed last autumn and cared for by the students as a health and welfare learning opportunity.

A college honorary fellowship was awarded to Wilma Brydon Gunn, the driving force behind the provision of defibrillators across the Borders and Scotland and founder of the charity Scottish Heart at Risk Testing, which provides screening for, and raises awareness of, heart disorders in young sportspeople.

Thanks to Wilma’s commitment, the cardiac arrest survival rate in the region has risen from 3% to 22.7%.