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SB Connect Winter 2016

sportscotland Gold double for local schools

Drumlanrig St Cuthbert’s Primary in Hawick and Priorsford Primary in Peebles are the only two schools in the Borders to have been awarded a prestigious National School Sport Gold Award by sportscotland.

The School Sport Award is a National Lottery funded initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and school sport opportunities.

To achieve the highest award, schools must demonstrate excellence across a range of core areas including physical education, extra-curricular sport, school sport competition, pathways to life-long participation and young people’s leadership and voice.

Both schools received their Gold Awards and flag from sportscotland in October. Drumlanrig Headteacher, Jeanette Gordon, said: “We are delighted to receive this national recognition for the work we do to promote and inspire children to participate in sport. Every member of staff contributes to our physical education and sports activities, giving up their own time to run clubs and attend sporting events.

“Our programme of sport is enhanced further by the excellent work of our Active Schools Co-ordinator, Paul Scott. Not only does Paul extend the opportunities we can give the children but he builds good relations with staff and children alike with his enthusiasm and commitment to promoting sport in the town of Hawick.”

Ava Hughes, pupil and member of Drumlanrig’s Sports Committee, added: “It’s pretty cool that we got the Gold Award the first year that we tried for it and that all our hard work has paid off. It was exciting to know that there are so few schools in Scotland to have got this award and that we are one
of them.” 

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Education, added: “Pupils and staff should be very proud of this acknowledgement of the importance that the schools place on physical activity, with all the benefits that this brings. “

Interested in working for the Council?

From teachers to engineers and surveyors, whatever type of job you are looking for, there are many benefits from choosing to work for Scottish Borders Council.

In addition to flexible working options, training and development opportunities and access to the Local Government Pension scheme, the Council has a staff benefits scheme.

This includes a technology and car- leasing salary sacrifice scheme which means an employee can choose to give up the right to receive part of their salary to pay for things such as iPads, computers, smartphones, and cars where a tax exemption exists.

Current job vacancies can be found online at 

Could you be a support worker?

Ali Barclay at work at the Katharine Elliot Centre

SB Cares, the company that provides support services for older people and people with a learning or physical disability on behalf of the Council, is looking for people to join their skilled and dedicated team.

SB Cares provides homecare and day support services at various locations across the Borders. They also operate five residential care homes and supply personal alarms and equipment for independent living. They are keen to hear from people interested in a rewarding, varied and generously paid career providing support to people who need assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation, as well as help to maintain their independence and be part of their local community.

Head of Operations, Lynne Crombie said: “We are looking for people who want to make a difference to people’s lives. You don’t need to be qualified as we will provide you with a great induction into care and any training you need.“

Ali Barclay is manager at the Katharine Elliot Centre in Hawick and the Jedburgh Day Centre which provide a service for people with learning disabilities. She also manages the Teviot Day Centre for Older People.

She said: “I always wanted to be a care worker, starting with a week’s work placement at high school. Over the past 21 years I’ve progressed up the career ladder. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and genuinely love going to work; it’s a hugely rewarding and satisfying profession.”

For more information, phone SB Cares on 01835 826700 or visit

Committed to co-production

Scottish Borders Council and the other members of the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership have recently adopted guidance for ‘co-production’.

Co-production means that the people who use services are equally involved in the planning, delivery and review of those services. It builds on community engagement methods, but goes further by supporting truly joint working relationships and shared decision making.

The benefit of co-production to the Community Planning Partnership is that it draws on a variety of skills and knowledge, with the community involved in developing the services it uses, therefore helping organisations to get it right first time.

The guidance, which is mainly aimed at staff but is useful for anyone interested in co-production, includes good practice case studies from the Council, third sector organisations, Scottish Borders Housing Association and NHS Borders.

For more information, see or contact

16 Days of Action

The Scottish Borders Violence Against Women Partnership is hosting the 2016 global campaign ‘16 Days of Action’ in recognition of the drive to eliminate violence against women and girls across the world.

The campaign starts on 25 November and runs until 10 December and will feature a range of activities across the Borders to raise the issue and demonstrate the various ways in which the Scottish Borders is tackling violence against women.

The campaign will start with a Reclaim the Night March in Galashiels on Friday 25 November. A full calendar of events is available on the Scottish Borders 16 Days of Action Facebook page

Independent-living equipment direct to you

Colin Peter, Equipment Technician, delivers equipment from the Borders Ability Equipment Store to clients across the region

SB Cares, the company which provides support services for older people and people with a learning or physical disability on behalf of the Council, can now supply a wide range of independent-living equipment direct to the public.

This ranges from small items to make everyday tasks easier, such as helping hand reachers, right up to larger equipment like reclining chairs and pressure-relieving mattresses.

They can also provide:

  • a personal alarm and monitoring service that enables people to summon help in the event of a fall or illness
  • a secure key-safe service that gives nominated local contacts or emergency services secure access to a client’s home.

Finance and Commercial Director Debbie Collins explained: “The normal process to get ability equipment and other items is to contact Social Work and ask for an assessment. People who are considered to have high or substantial needs may be able to get these either for free or at a subsidised rate.

“However, anyone who is not eligible or who doesn’t want to undergo an assessment, can now purchase directly from us.

“Our prices are highly competitive and we can also provide advice and information about the equipment we have available and what might be suitable for a person’s needs.”

For more information about purchasing equipment direct from SB Cares, phone 01835 826700 or visit To find out more about Social Work services, phone 0300 100 1800 or visit:

Did you know...?

SB Cares provides 45,000 pieces of equipment to 12,000 clients across the Borders to support independent living

Online benefits calculator launched

A new online Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction application system has been introduced by the Council which also enables residents to find out if they are entitled to Income Support, Pension Credit or Tax Credits.

The application is in two parts. The first is a calculator which can give you an idea of what you may be entitled to, while the second part allows you to make a claim.

The benefit calculator and claim system is available via 

Volunteers wanted for Chaplaincy Centre services

The Chaplaincy Centre staff at the Borders General Hospital are on the lookout for new volunteers to help at the weekly Sunday morning service.

This is a unique and rewarding opportunity for any caring person or group, regardless of faith, to join the friendly Spiritual Care team.

Spiritual care is not necessarily religious and members of the Spiritual Care team are available to offer confidential, non-judgemental support to patients, relatives and staff, appropriate to their life situation and beliefs.

The morning service takes place every Sunday between 11.00-11.30am. Volunteers would be required to be there from 10.15 until 11.30am.

If you think you or someone you know fits the bill and can volunteer on a regular or occasional basis, please contact Bob Devenny, NHS Borders Head of Spiritual Care, on 01896 826565. 

Nominations open for NHS awards

Nominations are now open for NHS Borders’ annual Celebrating Excellence Awards, which recognise the hard work, commitment and dedication of staff and volunteers across the organisation.

For details of how to nominate visit Nominations close on January 8, 2017. 

Come join a walk wherever you are

The Walk It programme in the Scottish Borders continues to grow, with a further increase in the number of health walks on offer.

A weekly walk started in Melrose earlier in the year and another out in the east of the region in Ayton. The latest new Walk It weekly walks are in Selkirk.

A variety of options are available in some towns where volunteer walk leaders lead a short and a longer
walk each week.

If you want to find out about your nearest Walk It group or the next walk leader training day, visit and go to ‘Walking for Health’.