GALA’S Braw Lad John Turnbull is in training to take part in the Poundstretcher charity trolley dash this weekend on behalf of the local foodbank.

The official grand opening of the new Poundstretcher outlet in Comely Bank Mill Retail Park takes place on Saturday, January 28. And from 9am, the first arrivals will be welcomed by an entertainer with games and activities, with £250 worth of shopping vouchers up for grabs.

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Then at 9.30am John, after a briefing from foodbank volunteers on what to prioritise,  will race round the new store collecting the desired items.

Scottish Borders Council leader Euan Jardine will formally open the store at 10am.

Gala Rugby Club posted on social media: “Come along and throw your support behind our JT this Saturday at the opening of the new Pound Stretcher - John will be doing his trolley dash for the Gala Food bank at 9.30am”

Galashiels and Area Foodbank Chairman John Tucker said: “We are very very grateful to Poundstretcher for thinking of us and when they asked me to nominate someone to do the trolley dash I thought ‘Who better than our Braw lad himself?’

“I hope that he does well in his 60 seconds challenge and we will be there in advance to give him some steering on what we need, which is non perishables such as tins of meat, fish, fruit, beans plus pasta and rice with sauces, tea, coffee and sugar.”

This has been a busy spell for the Foodbank which not only covers Galashiels but also nearby towns such as Stow, Earlston, Melrose, Tweedbank and Clovensford.

The foodbank is based at St Peter’s Church in Galashiels and has a drop off point at Langlee Community Centre car park.

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In December they handed out a record number of 414 dry bags containing non perishables and 404 fresh bags containing milk, bread, cheese, eggs and fresh fruit.

They also provided presents, puddings and selection boxes.

Throughout 2022, the foodbank supplied 2833 dry bags and 3097 fresh bags to 2556 adults, 1059 children.

Poundstretcher’s property director Gerry Loughran said: “We are expecting massive queues for our opening day specials, including an action-packed morning, so come early to not miss out.”