THE return of a vital day day service for older people in Hawick has been celebrated by the campaigners who made it possible.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) announced the closure of its six elderly day centres – in Eyemouth, Kelso, Jedburgh, Galashiels, Peebles and Hawick – in 2019, due to what it claimed was a reduction in user numbers.

But campaigners in Hawick, led by Sean Elliot, whose mum Madge was an attendee, launched a campaign to restore Teviot Day Service, located within the town’s Katharine Elliot Day Centre.

Their fight led to a legal ruling from Lady Carmichael, concluding that SBC failed to properly consider the needs of its members when it closed the service in 2020.

She said the local authority did not contemplate the impact the closure would have and ruled the action ‘unlawful’, while ordering it to reconsider its decision.

Last week an official ceremony was staged by Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership to mark the service’s return at its new home within Hawick Community Hospital.

Members of the Teviot Day Service Support Group were invited to cut a ribbon and declare the service open, alongside guest of honour Madge Elliot.

Following the decision made in 2019 to close day services for older people across the Borders, a subsequent review of the current level of need in both the Hawick and Newcastleton communities was undertaken.

A report outlining the findings was taken to the Integration Joint Board in May last year where approval was given to reinstate a buildings-based service within Hawick.

Teviot Day Service will open to service users from Monday (April 29). Support will be provided by the council’s Adult Social Care team and will be available Monday to Friday from 10am-6pm. The aim is to provide an opportunity for adults with dementia and complex care needs to socialise and participate in meaningful activities in a supported environment. It will also offer respite support for families and unpaid carers.

Mr Elliot, spokesperson for the Teviot Day Service Support Group, said: “On behalf of the support group, I’m delighted that we finally see a new and improved service opening in Hawick, to serve those who really need the opportunities that a first-class day service provides and the respite it will offer to family carers.

“It has been a long campaign but we now look forward to the future for the new service, the extended hours and perhaps weekends at some point in the future. I’m sure the future attendees will enjoy being part of an essential community service, in the same way as past members of the Teviot Day Service did.”

Lucy O’Leary, chair of the Integration Joint Board, said: “A considerable amount of work has gone into making this day possible and I would like to thank the Teviot and Liddesdale Task and Finish group in particular for their contribution.

“There has been a real sense of collaboration with staff from across Health and Social Care Partnership working together with carers, public representatives and Third Sector colleagues on a shared vision for the service. I know the staff team are very much looking forward to welcoming service users and family carers into the new setting from April 29 and I have every confidence that they will provide something quite special for the people of Hawick.”

Consultation with the Newcastleton community found that a formal day service was not something local residents would be keen to attend.

Instead, the Partnership has been working with the Newcastleton Trust on a project to deliver enhanced Welcome Holm sessions at Buccleuch House in South Hermitage Street. Staff from local provider, Holmcare and the council’s Adult Social Care team can support clients to attend and provide personal care if needed.

The project will run until September following which a review will be undertaken to evaluate the impact on those who have attended and their unpaid carers before a decision is taken on future provision for the area.

Referral to the Teviot Day Service is by assessment through the Hawick Social Work team. An assessment is also required for anyone who needs supported attendance at the Newcastleton sessions; otherwise these operate on a drop-in basis.

To find out more, visit: or contact Customer Advice and Support Services on 0300 100 1800.

The IJB further has agreed that once work in Teviot & Liddesdale had been completed, consultation and engagement to ascertain the levels of potential need in Eildon would be undertaken, followed by Tweeddale, Berwickshire and Cheviot.

A review of daytime opportunities for older adults and those with complex care needs in the Eildon locality is currently underway. Consultation and engagement took place in From October to November last year with the findings being used to develop an options appraisal which will be presented to the Integration Joint Board and council for consideration in due course.