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Updated: 24 May 2020

HUGS, The SHED and Walkerburn's response to Coronavirus

Walkerburn's response to the coronavirus outbreak has been remarkable showing the great community spirit which exists in the village.  A group has come together under the leadership of Denise Hanks, ably assisted by Stu Waterston, who normally works as the chef at the award winning Windlestraw boutique hotel, and a host of assistants preparing food and delivering meals around the village.  Each week there are two meals available and currently there are about 50 meals being delivered on each occasion. Read more about Food HUGS below.

There is also the SHED outside the village hall where those who need extra suplies can go and help themselves to what others have put there to assist their fellow villagers.  The SHED is overseen by a team managed by Aimee Scwartz.   Read more about the SHED below

Coordinating the response of the village is Heather Martin who leads a large group of volunteers who will shop, collect medicine, or just offer a chat on the phone for those who are self isolating in the village.

Food HUGS - Healthy Uncomplicated Great Scran!

A project bringing Healthy Uncomplicated Great Scran for anybody in need in Walkerburn, who is self isolating, shielding or in financial difficulty due to Corona Virus.

The project has been awarded a grant from the Scottish Government's Community Wellness Fund administered by the CORRA foundation which will allow it to continue to offer this great service to those in the village who need it. VE day HUGS meals ready for delivery

VE day HUGS mealsThe food choice for this week (25th May) is:

Tuesday 26th May Food HUGS

Tomato and Bean soup or

Curried Vegetable soup

Jam Roly Poly Pudding and Custard


Friday 29th Food HUGS

Delivewry volunteersToad in the Hole and seasonal vegetables or

Vegetarian Toad in the Hole and seasonal vegetables

Surprise pudding

In the first week, 32 FoodHUGS were delivered.  That is now regularly over 50 in and the team is keen to do more.  The project has received valuable support from a number of sources including the local Rotary Club. 

Photos show the bags for the special VE day meal waiting to be delivered.  These contained additional sweets and tablet and the team received thanks from folks for making the day special for them.Chef Stu and a heloer

This project is to help the most vulnerable.  If you are self-isolating, shielding or in financial difficulty and want to receive a meal get in touch with Denise via hanks_denise@yahoo.co.uk or 01896 870200 with your preference.

The priority is for folk who received the shielding letter, those self isolating because of age or other health reasons and those who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Denise and HUGS ready to be delivered

Wednesday Zoom Prayers

During Lockdown the churches in Scotland have been closed for safety reasons. However Walkerburn and other local church communities have continued reaching out to one another and the wider community, and have been gathering, where possible, electronically.

On Wednesday morning each week at 9.30am they would like to welcome anyone who wishes, whether members of any faith community or not, to gather on "Zoom" for just 20 minutes to pray for people in Walkerburn and Innerleithen, particularly those most in need. 

Wednesday Zoom Prayers will be hosted by people from various local churches over time and anyone can take part. Those interested will need to download "Zoom" onto a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone, and email the Rev Cedric Blakey, a retired Episcopal priest living nearby, for the link "Zoom" invitation. The email is revcanclb@gmail.com 

Staying Healthy and Entertained with Dignity - the SHED

Sharing SHED Inspired by the town in Perthshire that converted a disused phone box into a village larder a group of residents thought something like this would be very welcome in Walkeerburn.  The community council agreed to allow the transformation of the Community Resilience Shed by the village hall. The idea was shared on Facebook: they were overwhelmed by the generosity of the village. In less than 24 hours the shed was full.

“The idea of the shed is that people can drop off extra provisions in the shed including extra produce grown on an allotment, dry goods, and even books, puzzles, and games and take items that have been donated by others that they can make use of. We were initially concerned that people may consider the shed as competition to the village store and post office. However, this is definitely not the intention. In fact, we encourage people who visit the village shop to purchase an extra item and drop it off at the shed as they go past. It is a small thing that can make a big difference. We also can’t always get the things we would like to have. The shed means you can swap something you would like or need or just take something and donate something later.

We realise that we are only at the beginning of the economic damage that is being caused by the global pandemic. Many have lost their jobs or fear they will. Whilst food banks help with emergency situations they are already stretched and it can take time to obtain a referral and wait for the first food parcels to be delivered. In these cases the Sharing Shed can help fill the gap and it is yet another example showing what a caring community we live in. Moreover at the moment, with the schools out and many people confined to their homes, sharing books, games, puzzles and DVDs is also a great way to stave off boredom and keep ourselves entertained during lockdown.

We encourage everyone to check their cupboards to see if there is anything they’d like to donate or swap for something they can use. The shed is open and you can drop off goods anytime. Please observe virus spreading precautions and approach the shed one at a time.  If you have items to donate but are self-isolating please email WalkerburnSharingShed@gmail.com to arrange a pick up.”

Good news - reduced cost plots on allotments

As a response to the lockdown and to give people a chance for some exercise and a chance to produce their own vegetables, WalkerburnCommunity Development Trust has given the Allotments Association a rent holiday for the year.

So, here's a chance to get some exercise and beat those supermarket queues.   BUT HURRY - ONLY 4 LEFT

Walkerburn Allotment Society is offering anyone who wants to have a plot on the allotment site a fee reduction for this year.  You can have a plot for just £10 this year (normally £50 per year) 

If you are interested contact Allin Hoggarth on 07985 319009 or Mary Daykin on 01896 870471

Useful numbers and websites in the current situation

Site maintained by Walkerburn Community Development Trust