A DISTILLERY in the Borders has raised more than £3,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK.
Selkirk Distillers, based in the old joinery at Philiphaugh, created its 1953 gin to raise money for a cause close to owners Allan Walker and his wife Jane Gentleman, a former staff nurse.
“My wife was looking to do a skydive and afternoon teas, but once COVID hit all the fundraising ceased completely,” said Allan.
With the help of Jane’s friend, Kirsty Bennett, and Jane’s sister Emma – who has worked with the business since 2018 – the Selkirk team brought their charity gin to life before Christmas, also hosting virtual gin-tasting events after sending bottles across the UK.
Allan said: “Originally we were just making it for the Borders group and seeing if we could sell a couple bottles and make some money, but, when we contacted the MS Society, they said this needs to be nationwide.
“So, we agreed and put a plan in place to make a new gin.
“Our gin went all over the UK.
“Scott Mills [BBC Radio 1], he’s a big supporter of MS, so he got a couple of bottles directly to him and he gave a prize draw on his MS quiz night and we donated a bottle for that.”
Both Jane and Kirsty live with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and the distillery has been a keen supporter of the Society for a number of years.
The gin was named 1953 to commemorate the year that the MS Society was founded by Richard and Mary Cave. And the bottle also uses the MS tartan.
The fundraiser sees £10 from every £30 gin sale going towards the MS Society, with a further £2 per sale going directly to the local Borders branch.
When this newspaper spoke with Allan, the 1953 gin had helped to raise £3,058 for the MS Society ahead of their latest update at the end of March.
“It being Jane’s chosen charity and it’s one that obviously means the most to Jane. She does use some of the services available and it’s our way of giving back,” said Allan.
He added: “She does still plan to jump out of a plane at some point – I’ll hold her coat.”
For more information and to purchase 1953 gin, visit the Selkirk Distillers website.