November films at the Volunteer Hall

Duns Film Club will continue its ‘Celtic Connections’ season on Sunday 10 November:

4.00pm  Local Hero (1983)
Directed and written by Bill Forsyth, and starring Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay and Burt Lancaster, the film is about an American oil company representative sent to the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland to purchase the town and surrounding property for his company. Actual locations used included Pennan on the Aberdeenshire coast together with the beaches of Morar and Arisaig. Bill Forsyth won the BAFTA for Best Director and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits was nominated for Best Film Music. Run time 106 mins. Tickets £6 at the door or book in advance by calling 01361 884 935 or email

Duns Community Cinema will show two recent releases on Friday 22 November:

5.30pm  Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie
When an intergalactic visitor – an impish and adorable alien called Lu-La – crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun sets off on a mission to shepherd her home. He takes his new extra-terrestrial friend on the road to Mossingham Forest to find her lost spaceship, unaware that a sinister alien-hunting agency is on their trail. Can Shaun and the flock avert Farmageddon on Mossy Bottom Farm before it’s too late? Run time 87 minutes (U).

8.00pm  Judy
Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts. While there, she reminisces with friends and fans and begins a whirlwind romance. Biography starring Renée Zellweger, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon. Run time 118 minutes (12A).

Adults £6, Children £5 (free for 3 years & under), Family £20 (2 adults & 2 children) per film. Tickets at the door or in advance from 01361 884 935 or


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The first Duns Storyfest

A new festival, Duns Storyfest on October 18 and 19, will form part of the 31st Scottish International Festival of Storytelling, being held throughout Scotland.

On Friday, October 18, the action begins at Duns Primary School as storytellers, from the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh and beyond, work their story magic for children and parents. In the afternoon Pop-up Storytellers, each with their unique styles and repertoires, will perform at various venues in the town from 2-10pm.

On Saturday, October 19, events for all ages will be held at the Volunteer Hall. In the morning the fabulous Macastory will perform their own brand of storytelling madness and mayhem for children, and in the afternoon the Purple, White and Green perform their combination of theatre, song and image to tell the story of Scottish suffragettes to adults and older children. In the evening there will also be a Gathering of Storytellers followed by an open mic for any adult with their own story to tell.

A Heart for Duns in conjunction with Allanbank Arts will create an atmospheric, cosy, informal space at the Volunteer Hall where you can enjoy a meal, a drink and the feast of storytelling performances.

A linked Narrative Art Competition is now running for pre-schoolers and school pupils of all ages. Their work will be exhibited in the hall during the festival and the winners will be announced on the Saturday.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Duns Film Club Programme

Duns Film Club has announced its programme for next season, which runs from September 2019 to April 2020. The theme is ‘Celtic Connections’, featuring eight of the best and most popular films with a connection to Scotland.

There is the award-winning western Hell or High Water, directed by Scotland’s David Mackenzie; the 1930s classic The Thirty-Nine Steps, based on a John Buchan novel, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and set in Scotland; the black comedy Shallow Grave, directed by Danny Boyle and acclaimed the most successful British film of 1995; Local Hero, directed by Bill Forsyth and set in Scottish locations; and (we must have a musical) Sunshine on Leith with songs by The Proclaimers. Mrs Brown, starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, will be shown to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Duns Castle, as it was in these beautiful grounds that the Balmoral Castle scenes were filmed.

Most of the films in the programme have been nominated for multiple Oscar and BAFTA awards. All screenings are on Sundays at 4.00pm at the Volunteer Hall, Langtongate, Duns. Everyone over the age of 16 is welcome.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Duns Citizen of the Year

Candy Philip has been chosen to be Duns Citizen of the Year 2019, through a public nomination process organised by the town’s Rotary Club. The award recognises Candy’s work in spearheading the ‘Blooming Marvellous’ project, which sets up and maintains community planting schemes around the town and is supported by A Heart for Duns.

When Scottish Borders Council gave up responsibility for the maintenance of the flower beds in town, Candy took on the role and has worked tirelessly to secure funding and to recruit volunteers, both individuals and groups, to assist. She has even managed to fund a polytunnel, a community garden and an electric vehicle based at the Volunteer Hall. The result is that through her leadership and organisational skills the town now has blooming flower beds to be proud of.

Candy was surprised but delighted to receive the award. She was keen to point out that this was very much a team effort and without the assistance of all the helpers she could not have achieved it.

Rotary Club of Duns President, Ricky Amos, said that he was very pleased with the number of nominations submitted this year and thanked all members of the community for their continuing support for this project. He went on to say that all nominees were unsung heroes in the community, but Candy had won by a clear margin.

Rotary Club of Duns President, Ricky Amos, presents Candy Philip with the award of Citizen of the Year


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Heart for Duns is recruiting …

Climate Change Project Manager: full-time post to 31 March 2020 (£26,000 pa)

Are you passionate about addressing the challenges of climate change? Do you have the expertise, skills and experience to initiate and lead complex projects? Are you an excellent communicator with creative and practical ideas to share?

A Heart for Duns is building a project team to deliver real impact in a local community setting. One task for the new Climate Change Project Manager will be to recruit Home Energy Advisers, on an hourly contract basis. See the full Job description. This position is funded through the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and is based at the Volunteer Hall in Duns. Closing date for applications: noon on Wednesday 11 September 2019.

Contact the Manager, Volunteer Hall, Langtongate, Duns, TD11 3AF ( for further details.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Heart for Duns celebrates purchase of the Volunteer Hall

A Heart for Duns, the charity which manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community, became the new owner of the venue on 12 April 2018. It had leased the building since May 2016 and last September was awarded a grant of £206,000 from the Scottish Land Fund to support the purchase.

Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “We are grateful to the Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for offering to sell us the Volunteer Hall, and to the Scottish Land Fund for providing the necessary funding. The Hall has had a long association with the British Army, particularly the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. But it has a parallel tradition as a hub for the local community and, with the support of our many volunteers and members, we are privileged to build on this legacy. Bringing the Volunteer Hall into community ownership should enable AHFD to secure enough investment to transform it into a vital multipurpose hub that will benefit all residents of Duns and district.”

AHFD already has separate funding in place to convert the former caretaker’s flat into offices for non-profit groups, and to install an energy efficient heating and ventilation system for the main hall; work should be completed by the end of the summer. Further plans include a proper foyer and bar, another small hall, a better kitchen, and improved dressing rooms and storage.

To celebrate the purchase, two events for charity are planned at the Volunteer Hall for the weekend of 28 and 29 April. AHFD is joining with Duns Rotary Club to sponsor a concert by the Spatz & Co Showband on Saturday 28 April, at 7.30pm. Then Duns Film Club will host the Scottish première of Through Our Eyes on Sunday 29 April, at 4pm. This documentary about Syrian refugees is by award-winning filmmaker Samir Mehanović, who will attend the event. Entry is free; donations can be made to a charity for refugees.

See also Origin and ownership of the Hall

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scottish Land Fund cash secures future of Duns Volunteer Hall

The future of a thriving community hub in Duns has been secured, thanks to Scottish Land Fund cash announced today.

A Heart for Duns manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community and has leased the building since 2014. Now, thanks to a Scottish Land Fund grant of £206,000, the group will be able to purchase the building, which will empower local people to be involved in its future development.

Welcoming the news, Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “The trustees are very excited by the investment from the Scottish Land Fund into the community of Duns and district. We are delighted at the level of support we have received from community groups, strategic partners and funders, and we look forward to the next stages of development that will follow once we own the venue. Working with the community, we plan to transform this key asset for the town, making it even more fit for purpose, energy efficient, equipped with digital technologies, and with more flexible performance and work spaces. There’s a lot of work ahead but this grant gives us a solid base on which to build.”

Announcing the funding, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “I am delighted to see another enterprising community take control of its own future with Scottish Land Fund assistance. When considering this project for funding, the committee was very impressed with the community consultation that has brought A Heart for Duns to this point. It is clear from the popularity of the building that there is a great desire to continue developing and enhancing the hall’s facilities and in doing so ensuring that it remains a thriving community hub for people now and in the future.”

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I warmly welcome this award from the Scottish Land Fund for Duns. It shows that there are a number of routes open to local groups who want to realise the potential of key community facilities – in this case, a leasing arrangement allowed the group to manage the facility, build their capacity to take on the challenges, and then put together a successful application for support to buy outright. It shows that groups who are already involved with assets at some level can still go on and achieve outright ownership if they wish.”

Ailsa Raeburn, Head of Community Assets for HIE, said: “More and more communities are taking control of their future by purchasing land and assets that matter to them. A Heart for Duns now has a great opportunity to take the hall and create a place where the real spirit of their community can flourish.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Heart for Duns appoints Development Manager

A Heart for Duns, which manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community, has appointed Lindsay Wood as its first full-time Development Manager. This new post was advertised in April and is funded for three years by the Big Lottery Fund. Mr Wood has a range of experience and qualifications in project management and economic development.

Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “We are very pleased that Lindsay has been able to join us, particularly at this time: the charity has recently become a Development Trust and we are looking to buy the Volunteer Hall from its owner, the Ministry of Defence. The experience Lindsay brings to the role — including over 25 years working with the principal economic development agencies in the Borders and as an active volunteer in many local groups — should prove invaluable as we develop a business plan for the sustainable future of the Hall.”

Lindsay Wood said: “A Heart for Duns is a dynamic institution and I look forward to working with the trustees, volunteers and staff, as well as the Hall users and community members and groups. I think the power of an organised community linked to the right motivation can enable a small group of enthusiastic people to change their world.”

Contact Lindsay Wood at the Volunteer Hall on 01361 884 935 or

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Duns Volunteer Hall to benefit from Big Lottery Fund

A Heart for Duns, which manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community, has been awarded a grant of £88,660 from the Big Lottery Fund. This will fund recruitment of a full-time Development Manager and a part-time Finance Assistant over the next three years, increasing the organisation’s capacity and enabling it to develop the Volunteer Hall as a first-rate venue for a wide range of events and activities.

As a Scottish charity, A Heart for Duns operates with a small team of part-time staff, supported by a substantial body of members and volunteers. The organisation runs its own events in the Hall, including monthly community lunches and film nights, food and craft markets, a beer festival and Christmas parties, as well as the recent Vivaldi’s Gloria concert. It also enjoys a relationship with a core group of Hall users, who together put on a busy and varied programme of theatre, music, dance, exercise, sport and fundraising events.

Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “This grant from the Big Lottery Fund is a huge boost to A Heart for Duns at a critical period in the development of our work. We will be able to build the business of the Volunteer Hall and work more closely with our regular users to improve the service we offer them. The whole of Duns will benefit from this grant and we look forward to more and more people, groups and organisations using this very special venue.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that A Heart for Duns has been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant. The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish A Heart for Duns every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”

The closing date for both job applications was 23 April 2017.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Duns Film Club

Would you like to join the new Duns Film Club? Then come along to the Volunteer Hall for a free viewing of  A United Kingdom on Sunday 26 March, at 4pm. A discussion afterwards will enable you to tell A Heart for Duns what you would like from the club. Licensed bar; over 18s only.

A United Kingdom is a 2016 British drama based on the true-life romance between Sir Seretse Khama, later to become the first President of Botswana, and Ruth Williams, a London office worker. In the late 1940s their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but also by the British and South African governments. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike portray the couple. Run time 108 minutes (12A). 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment