Energise Galashiels has four sub-groups and over 50 volunteers, each focusing on a different area.
MEET THE TEAM LEADERS
All About Galashiels – Chairperson – Debbie Paterson
Debbie Paterson, with her husband Sinclair, returned to their hometown of Galashiels to set up their own company – Sinclair Duncan Textiles Ltd (est. 2013): a Scottish cashmere accessories brand that works with local independent manufacturers to create luxury products.
Debbie projects positive energy. This may have something to do with growing up and breathing in the wonderfully fresh Borders air. A lover of the great outdoors, she spent her childhood playing in all the parks, out on the hockey fields and attending local sporting venues, such as the Tweedbank Community Centre Athletics Track.
Galashiels’ War Memorial and Fountain have a special place in Debbie’s heart – as this was a central meeting place throughout her childhood and reminds Debbie of Hogmanay celebrations whereby everyone would meet at the fountain.
Debbie and her husband Sinclair are together raising two small boys and are strong Gala RFC and Gala Cricket Club supporters. Debbie plays netball for Lauderdale Ladies and is a keen long-distance runner. And she also does a lot more than we can possibly say in a few paragraphs!
Looking Good – Chairperson – Helen Calder
Helen Calder has worked in the Galashiels hospitality trade for over 30 years, successfully running a popular Bar & Restaurant and now a Guesthouse Business.
Her interests include walking, food, design and music. She looks forward to the forthcoming ‘100 Bands on the Border’ Music Festival and envisages that this will become the number one event in the Scottish Borders.
Helen’s dedication to making Galashiels shine is very admirable. With the railway arriving back into the Scottish Borders, she feels that opportunities have arisen to put our wonderful town and the surrounding area of outstanding beauty, back on the top of the list of places to visit. A dedicated member of Energise Galashiels, Helen will ensure we seize and capture this ‘Olympian Moment’.
Helen’s favourite quote is, ‘A candle loses nothing by lighting another. Take the time to help shine the light of another, it will do wonders for your sparkle!’
All this aside, family time is the most precious time for Helen. She is semi-retired and married to Ian, mother to two daughters and grandmother of four beautiful spirited children. For Helen, memory making moments are very precious and dear.
Events – Chairperson – John Gray
Growing up in Galashiels introduced Johnny to a lifetime enjoyment of sport. His passion and dedication for the Rugby Game throughout the years has been remarkable. Many young people (although they may not know of Johnny) are still benefitting from this strength in the town to this day.
A Gala man at heart, Johnny believes in buying local and supporting small businesses. He regularly visits local, family owned shops such as Dalgetty’s bakery and Noble’s butcher’s – for a real taste of the town. He enjoys the local Panto and Opera for their fun and for bringing a real sense of community spirit.
When asked ‘what will we showcase’ – he believes our key visitor attractions are the War Memorial and Old Gala House, purely for their design and the insights they give into the town’s history.
He describes The Braw Lads’ Gathering as a part of the year, which brings the town together – friends and families from far afield reuniting on their home turf: “Nothing can beat that.”
Originally from Australia, Architect Ranald Boydell moved to the Borders in 2009 to be close to family. Taking over the architectural design office of CKD Galbraith in 2013, Ranald now trades independently as Boydell Architecture.
Ranald has broad experience of the property industry in the UK and Australia, working with both public and private clients. Of particular relevance is his experience with main street improvement studies, heritage conservation policy and projects, sustainable development, renewable energy and the environment, many of which have involved community consultation.
Visitors from Australia (and afar) are taken on Ranalds’ Tour of the Borders, which involves and entails a visit to a historic house and garden – like Abbotsford, perhaps an art exhibition at the Haining and then a good cup of tea and cake at Turnbulls.
His innovative and forward-thinking mind sees Galashiels transformed in the next five years to a much more vibrant town with cosmopolitan offerings, known as a good place to live, work or visit.