TWEED TOGS volunteers and chair Susan Walker have been awarded Tweeddale’s Citizen of the Year 2023 in front of Lord Lieutenant Sir Hew Strachan.

The framed certificate, which jointly names Mrs Walker and the volunteers, was presented by Scottish Borders Council’s vice convener, John Greenwell, at Peebles Burgh Hall on Tuesday evening.

The registered children’s clothing charity Tweed Togs was founded in 2017.

It provides a week’s worth of “seasonally appropriate clothing, including a coat, sets of new underwear and nightwear, to families who are experiencing difficulties because of financial hardship, social disadvantage, ill health, disability or as a result of being refugees”.

Mr Greenwell said: “It is a great honour for me to be asked to present this award.

“Especially as the recipient has made it very clear that she sees this award as a team effort.

“Susan Walker has shown by holding the position of chair and vice chair of Tweed Togs that she is prepared to make the sacrifices needed to provide a much-needed clothing bank for those children most in need.

“I am sure there are many children who have benefitted greatly from the effort put into making Tweed Togs a successful charity.”

In her acceptance speech, Mrs Walker, 70, said: “On behalf of Tweed Togs’ amazing volunteers, thank you.

“To date, we have provided clothing for 1,800 children which equates to 5,400 packs of freshly laundered clothes presented in gift bags.

“Our volunteers give freely of their time, either working at our premises to select and prepare referrals, laundering the clothes in their homes, delivering requests and collecting donations.

“They support the charity as members or trustees, organise fundraisers and social occasions, represent our cause at events and offer advice remotely.

“They contribute to the day-to-day running and organising of the charity, and some volunteers do all of the above!”

The charity has completed all requests within the delivery time of 11 days or earlier and was operational throughout the Covid pandemic.

Mrs Walker added: “Because of the commitment and dedication of those volunteers, Tweed Togs is reputed to be an essential, reliable service to the children for whom we provide and the care agencies we support.”