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WINTER 2017 Jedburgh campus plans submitted

Four legged friends in the frame

Fiona named national Quality Improvement Champion

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Planning award is quality

Flushed with success

Members of the Council’s Planning and Corporate Business Systems teams have picked up a national award.

Toilet attendant Douglas Heatlie has flushed out the competition to win a national Loo of the Year award.

They won in the Process Category at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning for their caseload spreadsheets and performance scorecard project, with Ian Aikman, Shona Irvine and Andrew Evans picking up the title in Edinburgh in November.

And his cleaning colleagues were also recognised as Scottish Borders Council won best Scottish local authority for the maintenance of a series of public toilets across the area.

The team recognised an opportunity to improve performance following a national change which has seen average days become a performance indicator for planning applications. Spreadsheets were created for current and determined applications, as well as a performance scorecard for determined applications, all using a red, amber and green timescale indicator. It has led to a 51 per cent improvement in the average number of days taken to process all applications from March 2016 to March 2017. The team were congratulated by Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing, who said: “I was very impressed with the approach embedded in your project, with the dedication and hard work of the team shining out.

Ian Aikman, Shona Irvine, Kevin Stewart MSP and Andrew Evans

Douglas, who hails from Selkirk, won the Scottish individual cleaner title for his efforts maintaining the public toilets at the Avenue in Lauder. He picked up his title at the Loo of the Year ceremony at Solihull near Birmingham in December. The awards aim to recognise the highest possible standards for toilet facilities across the UK. Douglas began working with Ettrick and Lauderdale Council in 1983 as a general labourer, cleaning toilets and sweeping streets before moving onto his current role. The 61-year-old said: “I am lucky to be part of a good team who help and look out for each other.” Douglas and colleagues were presented with their awards by Convener Councillor David Parker at a meeting before Christmas.

Councillor Parker with Douglas Heatlie and colleagues at the Council meeting on 21 December

2 Jedburgh to get new campus as plans approved

Selkirk Flood Scheme team flying high with Saltire award

Exciting plans to create a new intergenerational community campus in Jedburgh by councillors in December.

The team behind the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme has received a prestigious national engineering award.

The new facility will serve 2 to 18 year olds as well as providing further education opportunities and community facilities for the town. Jedburgh intergenerational community campus will replace Jedburgh Grammar, Howdenburn and Parkside primary schools, and will be located on land at Hartrigge Park, subject to planning permission. The campus would have provision for nursery, primary and secondary school children, and facilities would include a multi-use games area, 2G hockey pitch, 3G sports pitch, running track, external changing pavilion and rural skills area.

The £32.1million project, which provides protection to around 600 homes and businesses from major flood events, won the Environmental Award at the Saltire Civil Engineering Awards in October. The awards panel was impressed with the multi-agency collaborative working which ensured multiple benefits were provided by the scheme, which has already protected properties from flooding on six separate occasions. Alongside the flood protection provided by the scheme, more than 150 people worked on the project at its peak, with around half being Borders residents. Main contractor RJ McLeod estimates that business worth £6m was generated for the local economy during construction. In addition, the scheme was finished on time and within budget, having been completed in December last year. A number of the project team are now working on the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme, which is currently in the approval process which needs to be passed before the scheme can be taken forward.

Plans for new Jedburgh intergenerational community campus have been approved

Conor Price, Senior Project Manager of the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme, said: “We are delighted to receive this award on behalf of the Council, the people of Selkirk, and the many organisations and individuals that worked on the project over the past decade.”

The funding for the new campus was confirmed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in August, as one of four projects to share £28m from the latest phase of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme. The announcement followed a major consultation exercise by the Children and Young People Services Team with pupils, parents and the community. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 98 per cent of the local community and 99 per cent of Jedburgh schoolchildren agreeing that such a campus would be a positive addition for the town. If planning permission is received, work is due to start in spring 2018 and expected to last 24 months.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay

Left to right, Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme representatives – Scott Marr, RJ McLeod’s project manager; Robert van Beek, RJ McLeod’s contracts manager; Steven Vint, CH2M project manager; Paul Keehan, Selkirk Flood Scheme’s assistant project manager and Conor Price, Selkirk Flood Scheme’s senior project manager.



Positive inspection report for Community Learning and Development partnership Staff working within the Community Learning and Development (CLD) service are delighted with the results of their recent inspection by Education Scotland.

ship working and resulting in life changing impacts for participants across a range of programmes. This was being matched by effective support to volunteering and a strong focus on equality and diversity.

Inspectors gave the service and its partners three ‘Good’ ratings (for improvements in the community, impact on the local community and delivering the learning offer with learners and one ‘Very Good’ rating (for leadership and direction).

Service Director Children and Young People, Donna Manson, said: “This is an excellent inspection outcome for the service which clearly recognises the commitment and professionalism shown by staff and partners working across the Borders.

During their visit to the Borders in August and September, they met with senior managers, provider organisations, staff and volunteers. They also spoke to the children, young people, adults and community organisations who benefit from the service.

“I would like to thank them not only for their dedication, but also for delivering such a wide range of meaningful projects and activities that clearly impressed the Inspectors for the positive outcomes that they were enabling people to achieve.”

Overall, Inspectors found strong strategic leadership which was setting a clear direction for CLD partner-

The report is available at:

Stay safe this festive season While not wishing to dampen the festive season fun, the Safer Communities team is offering some useful advice in order that staff stay safe this Christmas, whether travelling, at home or on a night out.

Drive safe

• It is simple – do not drink and drive. Any alcohol affects your ability to drive and there is no safe amount. The only safe option is not to drink alcohol if you plan to drive, and you should be aware of the ‘morning after’ if you drank a lot the night before. • When driving in winter, slow down, do not make sudden changes in speed and direction, avoid harsh braking and in severe weather ask yourself ‘Is my journey really necessary?’

Property safe

Most housebreakings are carried out by opportunist thieves. • Lock your door - obvious but lots of people still do not do it. • Make your house look occupied – use timers on lights and radios when out. • Valuables and cash – don’t have them on display in clear view.

Party safe

• Plan your Christmas night out – stick with friends and keep your mobile charged. • Think about how you will get home - book a taxi from a licensed company or arrange for a family member or a friend to pick you up. • Drink responsibly – always eat before you go out and do not leave drinks unattended. • Drink at your own pace and avoid being in a ‘round’. • Avoid confrontations, just walk away - one punch can ruin two lives. For more safety and security advice visit:

Fire safe

There are over 5,000 house fires in Scotland every year with cooking the biggest cause, particularly during the festive period. Cooking key tips • Never throw water over a pan that is on fire. • Keep grill pans clean. • If you have been drinking alcohol, or taking drugs, do not cook. • Take extra care if you suffer from any illness, disability or are taking prescribed medications that makes you care less or be more forgetful. • Make sure you have a working smoke alarms and consider fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen. The misuse of electrical equipment, faulty leads and appliances is another common cause of house fires.

Remember • • • •

Always use the right fuse. Never overload sockets. Never run electrical cables under carpets. Never repair or rejoin cables with insulating tape – always replace the whole cable. • Use electric blankets safely. • Switch off your electrical equipment. You can also book a free home fire safety visit by phoning 0800 0731 999, texting @Fire@ to 80800 or visiting

4 Data Protection is changing

Four legged friends in the frame

As some of you will be aware, the Data Protection Act 1998 has been supplemented by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This will come into force on 25 May next year.

Customer Services staff had a ‘Bring a Photo of your Dog to Work’ competition on National Bring your Dog to Work Day (Tracey Beattie wouldn’t allow the real thing!) It cost £3 to enter and the prize was £10 for the best image. Pam Hibbs was the prestigious judge and after much deliberation the winner was announced as Moss the Springer Spaniel owned by Janet Mitchell (formerly Lackenby) from Duns Library Contact Centre. Janet insisted on donating her winnings back to the pot so in the end they raised £120 for Borders Pet Rescue. Well done to all involved.

The Data Protection Act is over 20 years old. Those 20 years have seen huge developments in technology which have led to new and unimagined methods of processing personal data. The GDPR looks to address these changes and introduces a new approach, aimed at allowing individuals greater choice and control over how their personal data is processed. These changes will require organisations (including SBC) to review and alter their existing practices in order to demonstrate compliance with the law. SBC’s Corporate Management Team (CMT) approved the proposal for a project led by the Information Management Team in partnership with the Legal Team to help services identify and implement the necessary changes by May 2018. Over the next few weeks and months, the project team will engage with services through various communications, training and workshops and will provide the necessary tools and advice to ensure the Council meets the deadline. Guidance will be rolled out and published on the Intranet as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the GDPR, the ICO website has published some guidance including a 12 step guide on preparing for the regulation:

Moss the Springer Spaniel

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay

Fitness drive success Emmett Ryan from Protective Services ran an activity challenge for the month of October. With the aid of a fitness tracking application, the challenge was to earn as many points as possible by tracking points weighted activities such as walking, running, cycling, swimming and work-outs completed during October. Fifteen members of staff opted in for the challenge which was split into three teams of five. Weekly updates were sent to the team members throughout the month. An impressive total of 2,428km’s (Newtown St Boswells to Croatia) were covered during the challenge and an estimated 172,000 calories burnt (Over 700 mince pies). The winning team members were Forbes Shepherd, Mark Eccles, Emmett Ryan, Greig Forrest and Lynn Crothers.

Staff enjoyed a much deserved cake at the end of the challenge

5 Positive partnership working at Philiphaugh Community School Nursery Taking part in a seven month trial on the expansion of early learning and childcare has proven to be a highly successful experience for Philiphaugh Community School Nursery. Funded by the Scottish Government, the project enabled children, families and staff teams the opportunity to experience additional funded hours first-hand, well before the statutory entitlement in 2020. Parents used the hours in a number of different ways e.g. support with existing employment, time to look for employment or training, more time with a new baby or to take a younger sibling to groups and activities. Project Manager, Janice Dickson said: “As well as helping to manage childcare costs, the hours also helped to reduce reliance on friends or family. They also enabled longer, enhanced learning and play experiences, development of a wider circle of social relationships and the chance to experience school lunches, at no cost to parents.

“For staff, it meant a change in planning and delivery of learning through play, as well as adapting the nursery environment and looking at how they worked as a team throughout the day. This extended to working closely with the kitchen staff as the introduction of lunches for approximately 40 children served within the nursery was a new experience for everyone, as well as the children who helped clear away. “Our thanks go to everyone who worked on this project, including Lesley Robertson from Philiphaugh Early Years Centre and Amanda Dempsey from Community Learning & Development, for the strong team and partnership ethos that made it such a success.”

Positive partnership working at Philiphaugh Community School Nursery

6 A catalyst for change The regeneration of Galashiels is a step closer after plans to create the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in the town were approved by Councillors. The proposed visitor attraction at the former Post Office and Poundstretcher buildings will be a catalyst for significant economic, social and educational benefits for Galashiels. Approved in December, it is estimated that the £6.7 million visitor centre would help employ 16 FTE posts, attract over 50,000 extra visitors to Galashiels every year and provide additional annual spending of almost £900,000 to the local economy, supporting a further 17 FTE jobs. The new attraction would include a permanent home for the Tapestry – a 143 metre long community arts project which involved over 1,000 volunteers stitching the entire story of Scotland - as well as temporary space for exhibitions, and flexible space for education, learning and events. In addition, the plans include space for community and retail facilities including a café. The application also includes plans to introduce interpretation and art installations across the town centre, which would encourage visitors from the nearby Borders Railway to visit the Tapestry, as well as increase footfall and spend in Galashiels. The Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre already has funding of £2.5million from the Scottish Government, and the facility is at the centre of a Regeneration Capital Grant Fund application to the Scottish Government. The project is being delivered in close partnership with all of the key local community organisations such as Energise Galashiels, creative and business groups, Heriot-Watt University and Borders College. It is only through this close working relationship that this exciting project can be jointly delivered. If approved, it is expected the visitor centre would be completed by spring 2020.

An artist impression of the new Tapestry Visitor Centre

Meet Lexi – the new and improved Health and Safety reporting system Council staff are to benefit from the launch of a new online health and safety reporting system in the new year. The new software is called SHE Assure but to make this more user friendly it has been renamed Lexi, which is a Greek word for ‘Protector’. Lexi will replace RIVO Safeguard (also known as Sphera Safeguard) which has been in place since 2013. It includes a new self-service portal, which will be available to staff on mobile devices as well as computers, and will make reporting incidents quick and straight forward. A short form will be available to capture the essential information, which will go to our Health and Safety team for approval. This is then passed onto the relevant manager to deal with and add additional detail as appropriate. The portal will also bring benefits for staff carrying out risk assessments and should reduce the number of these being created. An example of this is school bus trips. One generic risk assessment could be completed and published to the portal and other schools could use this or amend it slightly to suit their needs. Nuala McKinlay, SBC’s Chief Legal Officer said: “The new system will make life easier for staff as it follows the Council’s objective of self-service. “The incident form on Lexi has been set up to make it quicker for people to report an incident through the portal than to note it down on paper to be uploaded later - which frequently happens at the moment. “An added bonus is that SBC staff won’t need a username or password to access this portal. “Updating our system for incident reporting, risk assessments and other health and safety requirements is an important step for the Council as it’ll provide us with a better platform to protect our workforce.”

Further functionality and information will be communicated to staff as Lexi’s arrival gets closer. In the meantime a recorded webinar is available to view on the intranet .


sbscene In the Hot Seat - Digital transformation Special

In the Autumn edition of SBscene we told you how Brian Have you encouraged others in Frater, Service Director - Regulatory Service had kind- Corporate Management Team ly volunteered to be our Corporate Management Team (CMT) to reduce the amount of printing they do? (CMT) ambassador and embrace digital ways of working. This involves going paperless where possible Yes. I think CMT got fed up with and increasing his use of Lync and OneNote to cut down my constant moaning about the on printing and travel. We asked him how he’s been amount of paperwork we were getting on.... receiving. All colleagues have Brian Frater reduced their printing and use Do you use OneNote? If not, why not? their devices more often but there’s more that can be Yes I do use OneNote but probably not as often as I done and I’ll keep moaning at them until we get there. should. Are you confident is using OneNote or could you do with someone showing you more of the functionality? I’m confident in what I do but I don’t know what I don’t know… other words there may be other functionality that I would benefit from learning about. What else have you done to reduce your use of paper? The main thing I have done to reduce my use of paper is to stop printing off papers and start using my Surface to access papers for meetings etc. Prior to having a Surface I was using my laptop which worked equally well. Where I can’t rely on having WiFi, it does require a few minutes to download papers in advance but that’s easily achieved with a bit of forward planning and preparation. Where do you have issues with the reliability of the WiFi? Mainly outside the SBC network. When you have meetings in other locations you can’t be sure you’ll have access to good WiFi. Have you found it hard to change the way you work? It’s easy to be lazy and keep doing what you’ve always done but in my experience making the effort and trying new ways of working with new technology usually reaps benefits. I sometimes look back at how we used to operate and wonder how we ever managed.

Digital skills staff survey Thanks to everyone who completed the digital skills staff survey. This survey attracted nearly 700 responses and asked for feedback on the digital skills of our staff, whether using IT at work or at home. The information gathered will be important in making sure the Council supports staff going forward. Prizes were up for grabs thanks to Tusker and PG Let’s Connect. Congratulations to Mark Munro from the Parks section in Duns, who won an iPad Air. In response to a question about how we could use our IT tools to be more productive he replied “allow people who are not office based access to systems such as email, calendars and intranet instead of reliance on paper, postal system and internal mail as well as driving to collect and deliver paperwork or reliance on others.” Winners of Love2Shop vouchers were: Laura Bell – Assistant Planning Officer at HQ; Paula Glanville Teacher at Lauder Primary School; Graeme Rae - SBC Contracts in Kelso; Judith Graham - SB Cares in Selkirk; Campbell Johnstone Chargehand at Eshiels; Rachel Stewart - Customer Services Adviser in Eyemouth.

Do you regularly print papers or use your device? I very rarely print papers now and get annoyed when I see others printing papers unnecessarily. Have you used Lync for conference calls instead of attending a meeting in person? This is an area where I think I have room for improvement. I do occasionally use Lync for conference calls but I know I could use it more often. Why don’t you? I probably just need a bit of a push. While there will always be a place for face to face meetings I know that Lync is perfectly adequate in many instances and should be used more often.

Mark Munro (right) is presented with his iPad by HR Shared Services Manager Ian Angus.

8 Schools Round-up Fiona named national Quality Improvement Champion Stow PS classroom assistant and additional needs auxiliary, Fiona Riddell has been crowned champion at the Quality Improvements Awards 2017 for her successes in reducing the number of children achieving below expected levels of numeracy. She was recognised for her ‘relentless’ focus on improving outcomes for pupils which saw her implementing a significant shift in how she supported them, moving from a broad sweep approach in the classroom to using a more targeted one-to-one method. Fiona beat off stiff competition to win the top award and deserves huge congratulations on her achievement.

Child’s play at Waverley unites generations An innovative friendship scheme between pupils attending Balmoral Early Learning and Childcare Centre and residents at SB Cares’ residential care home in Galashiels is proving hugely successful. A group of three and four year olds visit Waverley twice weekly where the two age groups share a range of activities. Whether they are making jigsaws, playing games, singing songs or creating with playdough there are benefits for everyone in terms of improved memory, dexterity and fine motor skills. The residents look forward to spending time with the youngsters while the visits also promote community involvement and confidence in the children. Both Ruth Chapman (Manager, Waverley Care Home) and Laura Thompson (Senior Nursery Nurse) are delighted with the sector-leading collaboration and the benefits it has reaped for both generations. Laura said: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re four or 84, making the longest playdough snake you possibly can is just good fun.”

Fiona Riddell has been crowned champion at the Quality Improvements Awards 2017

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards success for Jedburgh Jedburgh Grammar pupils, Kobe Ross and Becky Murdie have each been presented with a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) after they completed a week long programme on the banks of Loch Tay. Becky was also presented with the John Mair award, nominated by her peers on the girls’ programme for her development as a leader during the week.

Treeve’s tremendous Higher hat-trick Peebles High pupil Treeve Willcock has paid tribute to the school’s science department after achieving a hat-trick of top national awards. Treeve achieved the country’s highest exam scores in biology, chemistry and physics, gaining five A band ones in her Highers, with an average of 96 per cent overall. The 17-year-old from Broughton was invited to the Science and the Parliament event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh in November to collect the highest achiever accolades from the Royal Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics – becoming the first pupil to scoop all three. She was supported at the ceremony by six teachers including Alistair Huddleston from biology, Sarah McDowell from chemistry and Jim Burrows from physics.

Young and old meet at Waverley

Sportscotland silver for Denholm Primary Congratulations to Denholm Primary on achieving the sportscotland Silver School Sport Award for their commitment to engaging all pupils in sporting activity.

Scottish maths week win for Eyemouth High Congratulations to Denholm Primary on achieving the sportscotland Silver School Sport Award for their commitment to engaging all pupils in sporting activity.

Scottish maths week win for Eyemouth High


sbscene Schools Round-up MA success in local schools

Beach cleaners extraordinaire

Nine Modern Apprentices (MAs) have been employed in nurseries across the Council where they have been seeing first-hand what is like to deliver quality learning experiences. Based in primary schools in Burnfoot, Eyemouth, Coldstream, Langlee, St Ronan’s, Greenlaw, Wilton, Broomlands they are being mentored and supported by nursery and school staff. They also began work with Borders College in October to undertake their SVQ 3 Social Services (Children and Young People) which they are aiming to complete in 2018/19. Sally Ward, Quality Improvement and Practice Officer – Early Years, said: “This has been a potentially life changing opportunity for these young people and one which we hope will be repeated as we further develop the workforce within early learning and childcare.”

Pupils from Coldingham and Cockburnspath donned their welly boots and picked up their litter pickers in September and headed down to the beach. As part of the ‘Great British Beach Clean’ they helped the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve complete a beach clean of Coldingham Sands and Dunglass Beach. Marine litter is an escalating global problem, with up to 12.7m tonnes getting deposited in our oceans every year so the young people were proud to play their small but important part in tackling the issue.

Coldingham and Cockburnspath pupils

New outdoor space at Edenside Primary MAs have been based in Primary Schools across the Borders

Success for Eastern Borders Schools Brass Band Players from across the eastern Borders are celebrating after an excellent performance at the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships where they achieved an impressive third place overall in the Under 14 Novice Section. Band leader, Graeme Kennedy, said: “This was an incredible achievement and an experience that the young people will not forget and they are to be congratulated on their commitment, hard work and talent that resulted in such a great outcome for them.”

Success for Eastern Borders Schools Brass Band

Edenside Primary in Kelso has a new outdoor learning and picnic area thanks to the hard work of the Criminal Justice Unpaid Work Team, Doug Newlands, (Business Services Co-ordinator) and Neil Pringle (Neighbourhood Services). They now have a space that can be used as an additional classroom area and also as somewhere to have packed lunches when the weather permits. Children and staff alike are delighted with the transformation and have been busy clearing summer bedding and planting for a fine show in Spring.

Praise from former First Minister for Academy pupils Students from S2 and S6 at Galashiels Academy were guests of honour at the second annual Patrick Geddes Learning Festival in Edinburgh recently where they were praised by former First Minister Henry McLeish, Learning Festival Chair, as ‘a credit to themselves and a great advert for modern Scotland’. Their efforts were also commended by Commissioner for Children and Young People, Bruce Adamson.

Galashiels Academy pupils

10 Moovers and Groovers The HQ Operations Team in Education and Social Work has said goodbye and good luck to several team members over the last few months: • Good luck to Emma Thomson on her Australian adventure. • Best wishes to Kath Hardie and Eleanor Wood who are loving their retirement after many years of service with SBC. • Congratulations and best wishes to Lorraine Boyd and Sarah Glen on their new roles in Schools Business Support.

Fundraisers Well done to staff from the Council’s IT partner CGI who raised over £500 for Children in Need following a cake sale held at Council HQ in November.

CGI bake sale Thanks to everyone at Council HQ and Contact Centres who contributed to the Wear it Pink fundraiser – a total of £122.22 was gratefully received. HQ Operations Team in education and social work

Congratulations also to our team achievers - Kathryn Lees has completed her HNC in Administration and IT, Ashley Craig has completed his SVQ 2 Business Administration and Sarah Sowman has completed her Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma. Jonathan Jones, Duns Property Officer, Jack Caldwell, Energy & Building Services Officer and James Bunyan, Electrical Technician have all joined the Property team.

Well done to the Kelso Social Care & Health team who raised £215 by holding a Macmillan Coffee Morning.

Thanks The hard work and commitment of long serving foster carers were acknowledged at their annual awards ceremony. Foster carers with between five and 30 years’ service with the Council were presented with a certificate in recognition of their dedication and support toward the children and young people of the region.

Well done Jonathan Jones and Graeme Slorance, Homeless Service Property Manager, who both achieved their P402 Surveying and Sampling Strategies for Asbestos in Buildings certificates.

New starts Rob McCulloch-Graham has taken up the post of Chief Officer Health and Social Care where he will be responsible for leading and managing the wide range of integrated health and social care services and strategic programmes. Murray Leys is currently acting as InterimChief Social Work Officer.

Fostering annual award ceremony


sbscene Moovers and Groovers Congratulations

Burnfoot Bids Together

Congratulations to Senior Communications and Marketing Officer Adam Drummond and wife Linsey on the birth of their daughter Amber, who arrived on 6 November weighing 6lb 10oz.

Community Learning and Development (CL&D) has supported a group of community members to successfully develop and deliver a participatory budgeting programme in Burnfoot, the first programme of its kind to be delivered in the Scottish Borders.

Congratulations to Communications Assistant Susan Romanis and partner Mark on the birth of their daughter Hannah, who arrived at midnight on 11 November weighing 9lb 15oz. Congratulations to Bev Paterson (Production Manager, Chirnside Primary) on being crowned winner of the Great Scottish Bake Off 2017 for her beetroot and chocolate brownies. Tracey Biggs (Cook Manager, Galashiels Academy) took third place overall with her Border berry and lime sponge. Bev and Tracey were among three members of the SB Hospitality team who were shortlisted from 1,600 entries into the final eight. Anne Howieson (Assistant Cook, Berwickshire High) was also a strong contender with her Doffins and just missed out on the day. The competition took place on 23 November at the City of Glasgow College where the bakers had to ensure that their creations met the entry requirements and were in line with health and nutrition guidelines required in Scottish schools. They were judged and scored on a number of aspects including appropriateness for school menus, taste, creativity and overall visual appeal.

Seven members of the community joined the steering group of Burnfoot Bids Together and were helped to identify projects that might require funding. They also worked on groupwork skills, how to engage with the community and were given advice on good governance and accountability. Through the Community Choices fund, they then applied to a small grants scheme which resulted ÂŁ30,000 being made available to 13 community groups in the Burnfoot area. For more information, contact: Kenny Harrow, Community Learning and Development Worker at:

Unpaid work - new opportunities sought The Criminal Justice team is looking to develop new opportunities for people completing a Community Payback Order (CPO) with an Unpaid Work requirement. This is a community based sentence imposed by courts following a criminal conviction. Service users carry out work to complete their unpaid hours. This may include environmental work, woodwork and path clearing, as well as individual placements in charity shops under supervision.

Our Bake Off representatives

Unpaid work provides the opportunity for individuals to deliver reparation to local communities and in doing so develop new skills. In the Borders our service users undertake a wide range of work as either group activity or individual placements.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay

The main beneficiaries include schools, charities, community groups and other not-for-profit bodies If you are involved with a local organisation, community project or charity and would like to discuss this further the team would love to hear from you - call 01896 664140.


12 Singing social care and health staff sought After just four sessions, the new ‘Health in Harmony’ Choir already has a strong following of around 40 regular attendees. The exciting and innovative staff choir was set up by Coldstream GP, Dr Emma Platt and Music Therapist, Clare Gillespie and is open to all staff across Social Care and NHS Borders. Everyone is welcome and no previous singing experience is required.

New Kelso High raises the standard Pupils and staff are now settling into the new Kelso High School, which was opened in November. The historic flag from the old school was flown for the first time at the new £22.5million building which hosts an array of modern facilities.

The choir explores different styles of music under the guidance of Jennifer Sterling, a highly experienced and hugely enthusiastic musical director. They are currently working towards their first public performance at Christmas time. Clare said: “Choirs have increased in popularity over the last decade thanks to initiatives such as the Rock Choir, which boasts a UK-wide membership of 20,000 and Gareth Malone’s ‘The Choir’ on the BBC. There is a real feel-good factor to singing in a group and it’s a great way to meet new people. From a clinical perspective, we know there is also growing evidence to demonstrate the positive impact that being in a choir can have on mental health. And so the ‘Health in Harmony’ choir was created not only to bring staff from across the Health and Social Care Partnership together in the spirit of integration, but also to promote opportunities for staff to leave the stresses and pressures of the week behind.”

Get involved

Photographed are Morrison’s David Wilson, Head Boy Charlie Graves, Head Girl Aimee Martin, Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People and Paul McGirk of Hub South East Scotland.

Contact the team


The choir meets every Thursday 7.15-9.15pm at The Tryst, Chaplaincy Centre, Borders General Hospital. Sessions are £3 each. If you would like to join or are interested in booking a recital, contact:

SBscene is written by employees for employees, so contact the Communications and Marketing team with articles, features, ideas and suggestions:


The deadline for the next issue is Wednesday 21 March 2018. Articles longer than 250 words should be discussed with the team well in advance of the deadline date.

Congratulations to

Kathleen Mason, recently retired from her role as Democratic Services Officer, on being made a Member of the Royal Victoria Order in recognition of her work as Clerk to the Tweeddale Lieutenancy. Kathleen was presented with her award at Buckingham Palace at the beginning of December.

• • 01835 826632

Please note that the views expressed in this newsletter may not necessarily be the views of Scottish Borders Council. More information about working with the Communications and Marketing team can be found on the intranet in the Your Job > Communications, Marketing and Design section: yourjob/Pages/comms-marketing-and-design.aspx You can get this newsletter on CD, in large print, and various other formats by contacting the Communications and Marketing team. We can also provide information on language translations, as well as providing additional copies.

Designed and produced by Scottish Borders Council, Communications and Marketing. JRE/2017

SBscene - winter 2017/18  
SBscene - winter 2017/18