A RARE double has been celebrated with the presentation by The Lord-Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry of the British Empire Medal to Eilean Hogarth.

Mrs Hogarth from Kelso was honoured for her outstanding services to charity in the Scottish Borders.

The award was made at a ceremony at Bowhill House last week.

Mrs Hogarth’s late husband Jimmy had also been the recipient of a British Empire Medal, presented to him 28 years ago by the Duke’s father - also at Bowhill.

In a moving ceremony, that moment was recalled and a photograph taken featuring both medals in the same location as the previous one.

Mrs Hogarth was being recognised for her work in founding and running two of Kelso’s most successful charity shops - Charity Begins at Home and Charity for Care.

The first raises money for local causes while the second supports the Margaret Kerr Unit at the Borders General Hospital.

The Lord-Lieutenant said: “It truly was a great honour to meet Eilean and present her with this British Empire Medal.

“She has been a hugely inspirational member of her local community who has made a difference to the lives of many, either through them becoming involved as a volunteer with one of her two charities with the real sense of purpose and companionship that this can bring, or by benefitting either directly or indirectly from one of their generous donations.”

When the Lord-Lieutenant referred to the ‘astonishing’ £180,000 raised by Charity for Care over the past four years, he was politely corrected with the news that a target of £250,000 had now been achieved.

He added: “Eilean’s commitment has previously been honoured by NHS Borders who named her Supporter of the Year in 2016 and Kelso Rotary who awarded her Citizen of the Year, again in 2016.

"It is hardly surprising that she has achieved this recognition for she is truly a heroine in our community but the British Empire Medal is a national honour and one of which she is an outstanding recipient.”

Mrs Hogarth was also congratulated by friends, family and colleagues who had been invited to celebrate with her at Bowhill.