Eve­lyn’s shock and joy at New Year gong

Recog­ni­tion for char­ity work is a huge sur­prise

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Rachel Clark

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

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