Evelyn’s shock and joy at New Year gong
Recognition for charity work is a huge surprise
An east Perthshire volunteer has described her shock at being recognised for her charity work in the New Year’s Honours list.
Evelyn Grieve has been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her work as a speaker with Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), as well as for other charity and community work across the region.
The 69-year-old from Blairgowrie admitted: “It was quite a shock, but lovely!
“I got a letter two or three weeks ago to say, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone which was a bit difficult. But getting the letter was amazing, I didn’t expect it at all.”
Over the past 22 years Evelyn and her friend Linda Retson have raised a significant amount of money for CHAS .
Their fundraising efforts began as part of a group which travelled on a rickety old bus from Blairgowrie to Rochdale, where they collected £4500 along the way for the Scottish hospice charity which cares for babies, children and young people at its premises at Rachel House in Kinross as well as in the family homes.
Since then, Evelyn has remained committed to CHAS by organising a number of events along with Linda, including being involved in staging a version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2010 which raised a whopping £15,000.
Evelyn wants to acknowledge the support she and Linda have received over the years.
She explained: “We have been doing a lot of work for CHAS for a long time - it is such a wonderful charity and we have had great fun doing it as well.
“Over and above the joint efforts, I have done lots of silly things like parachute jumps, cycling around the Borders and last year I went swimming in Loch Lomond.
“I was very surprised to get a MBE, never for one moment did I think I would get something like that because there are lots of people doing wonderful things for charity.
“My main job now as a CHAS volunteer is going out and giving talks on behalf of the charity and hopefully making more people aware of the wonderful work done by CHAS.
“I have been all over Tayside, Angus and Fife doing talks and thoroughly enjoy doing it.”
Evelyn also hopes her getting an MBE will boost the profile of CHAS and its work.
She continued: “I absolutely want CHAS to get recognition too because the more we promote it, the more volunteers and money we will get to support more families. Loads of families use CHAS but there are so many more who could use it and at the moment we can’t cover them all.”
The New Year’s Honour was also given to her for her years of work with Girlguiding and other more general charity work.
From 1982 until 2004, Evelyn ran one of the Blairgowrie Guide packs, and rose to the position of district commissioner for Blairgowrie and Rattray before becoming the division commissioner for the Guides’ Eastern Division.
Evelyn said: “I worked with the Guides for about 30 years - I gave it up in 2004 but I had been involved since I was 17 years old.
“I always liked working with children and for children and I became the division commissioner for a number of years.”
Evelyn says she does not know who it was that nominated her for the MBE, but says she has been overwhelmed by the response she has received from the eastern Perthshire community.
She said: “I think it was two friends who nominated me, but I am not too sure because they are not supposed to tell me.
“But I get the feeling it was my two friends because they wanted to do something for me a couple of years ago and I said no.
“It has been really nice to be recognised, and I have had such a lovely response from people.”
Evelyn says she is already looking forward both to the prestigious ceremony and to carrying out a number of fundraising events throughout the year to further promote the work of CHAS.
She says she will be supporting Blairgowriebased Graham Environmental Services, which is holding a charity ball for three different charities including CHAS at Perth Racecourse in February, and will be looking to do more fundraising later on in 2018 for the children’s hospice.
It has been really nice to be recognised, and I have had such a lovely response from people
MBE Blairgowrie’s Evelyn Grieve has been named in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list