SELKIRK Community Council (SCC) has announced the inaugural ‘Volunteer Fair’ in a bid to boost the number of helpers at local groups.

In May last year around 300 people came out to see performances from Selkirk Silver Band, Riddell Fiddles and the Bannerfield Buskers at an event staged by the SCC.

Now the group has unveiled its new project – at Market Place on Saturday (May 4) – to help clubs recruit more volunteers.

Drawing on the resources already set up for that morning’s monthly farmers’ market, organisations will be able to use the same marquees from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Entertainment will be on offer in the form of DJ Ed Strang Steel, who will act as MC, as well as a performance from the Selkirk Silver Band between 2pm and 2.30pm.

SCC chair Andy Murray said: “The community council is always looking to support ways in which the community can come together, so we are very grateful to Allan Walker and Viv Ross of the farmers’ market and the Chamber of Trade for helping realise the Volunteer Fair idea.

“There are more than 76 separate groups in Selkirk, and, in the world of the social media bubble in which we live, it can be difficult for voluntary organisations to cut through the chatter. We are hoping that, if townsfolk are able to join us in the Market Place to enjoy ourselves or even just have a chat, some of the very positive aspects of all the groups taking part will be apparent.

“There are many ways in which people can contribute their time and expertise, but they don’t have to be extensive – local groups will be very grateful for whatever help they are offered. I would also like to thank the Selkirk Silver Band and Ed Strang Steel for helping out on what should be a fun time for all. Today’s forecast even shows the sun shining!”

It is a familiar refrain across the Borders that volunteering and club memberships have reduced since Covid-19 and its lockdowns. It is hoped that publicity for the positive aspects of various activities may help boost profiles and encourage more people to sign up.

A number of groups have signed up for the event, ranging from Selkirk Community Football Club to the Selkirk court tearoom.