Duns Community Challenge Quiz

You are warmly invited to our annual community quiz on Friday 26 May — now in its third year! Trophies and prizes are to be won, as well as bragging rights. You can enter as a team or as an individual (to join an ad-hoc team): please email

The £16 entry fee (for a team of four) can be paid on the night. Doors open at 6.30pm for registration; the quiz starts at 7.15pm. Licensed bar.

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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.

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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). 

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Vivaldi’s Gloria: Choral Weekend

Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March

Amateur singers of all ages are invited to form a scratch choir to rehearse and perform Vivaldi’s Gloria at the Volunteer Hall. The choir will be joined by soloists and professional musicians at a concert of sacred and Baroque music. The weekend will be led by Greg Batsleer, chorus director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus. More information

Concert on Sunday 5 March, 6.00pm

The full concert programme is:
Vivaldi: Overture to L’Olimpiade (Orchestra)
Mozart: Ave Verum Corpus (Chorus and orchestra)
Mozart: Exsultate, Jubilate (Soprano solo)
Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Chorus and orchestra)
Monteverdi: Cantate Domino  (Chorus and some players)
Vivaldi: Gloria (Chorus, orchestra and soloists)  

Audience tickets for the evening concert are £10, from Nairn’s Newsagent in Duns, (through Paypal) here, and on the door.

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Duns welcomes the Berwick Male Voice Choir

Duns Volunteer Hall will welcome the Berwick Male Voice Choir for its first-ever concert in the town, this Saturday, 25 February, at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm). The programme will comprise favourites from the choir’s repertoire, which includes traditional songs from Scotland, England and Wales, hymns, show tunes from musicals, popular songs and spirituals.

Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, is very enthusiastic about the Choir’s visit to the town: “A Heart for Duns is delighted to welcome the Berwick Male Voice Choir to the Volunteer Hall for the first time in its 50-year history. The Hall has fine acoustics and we are keen to attract local musical groups and organisations to use it, to broaden the range of events that we put on. We are especially grateful that the Choir is actively supporting A Heart for Duns by donating their profits — this makes it even more important for people to come along and share this special experience”.

The Volunteer Hall in Duns, Berwickshire’s biggest public space for events and performances, is ideal for concerts with large choirs. It also provides a wide range of events for the community that include: film nights, theatre, musicals, music concerts, beer festivals, markets, dances, parties and weddings. There is a professional catering service and a newly refurbished licensed bar offering a variety of drinks, including teas and coffee.

Entry is £7, with tickets on the door, from Nairn’s Newsagent in Duns, or by contacting Eddy Richards at the Volunteer Hall on 01361 884 935 or email



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A Men’s Shed in Duns?

You are cordially invited to a public meeting to look into setting up a Men’s Shed in Duns. The meeting will be held at the Volunteer Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 February.

What is a Men’s Shed? It is a place where a man who has time on his hands can go to make things, use tools, relax and make friends. The aim is to help men improve their health, address issues such as social isolation, and play their part in community development. Some 1,500 such projects have been set up around the world, with over 70 in Scotland, including in several towns in the Borders. You can find out more at the website of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association and in an article from Volunteer Centre Borders

This initial meeting is to explore possibilities and to form a plan to set up a similar project in Duns. It would be great to have your input and help!

If you would like to attend the meeting (or if you can’t attend but would like to be involved) please send an email to Eddy Richards at

Lastly, please feel free to pass on this invitation to anyone you think might like to see a Men’s Shed in Duns.

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Community Challenge Quiz

There’s still time to organise a team for the annual Community Challenge Quiz, to be held on Friday 6 May at Duns Volunteer Hall. The first part of the evening will be run as a normal quiz, with the highest scorers competing in a University Challenge style Semi-final and Final. Trophy and medals to be won. Licensed bar & raffle. Tables of four are £16 (includes a pie & peas supper); to pre-book email: Doors open at 7.00pm; Quiz starts 7.30pm prompt. Organised by A Heart for Duns.

Almost 100 people took part in the quiz last year, which was won by ‘Knolledge’, a team from The Knoll Hospital in Duns.


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Beer and Food Festival returns

Building on a successful launch last year, Duns Volunteer Hall will host the town’s Beer and Food Festival on Saturday April 16, from noon to 7pm.

The music programme will include sets by Dancing with Ghosts and Ruff Cut blues band, as well as local musicians. Drew Wilson, a skilled chef and owner of Fish & Fine Foods, will demonstrate how to cook three different fish dishes during the afternoon. See the Provisional programme.

Beer will be on tap from Born in the Borders, Broughton, Knops and Tempest; Westons Cider will also be available, as well as a bar for wine and soft drinks. Food stalls will include Creative Cakes, Foston’s Fine Meats, Wellfield Bakes, and a hog roast from Oink.

Organised by A Heart for Duns, supported by The Black Bull Hotel and Fish & Fine Foods. Admission is free and accompanied children are welcome.

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Help AHFD to share in Co-op Local Fund

A Heart for Duns has been selected to receive a share of the Co-op Local Fund, which supports community groups in Scotland. This year the total fund is £750k, generated from 12 months of 5p carrier bag charges.

The Volunteer Hall is guaranteed to receive some money from the Fund, but how much depends on the support we receive from Co-operative members, who can vote to support their favourite local cause. The more votes we get, the more money we will receive when funds are distributed at the end of February 2016.

You can help us!

If you are already a Co-operative member, you can vote for A Heart for Duns at

If not, you can apply online at

Voting is open now until 5pm on Friday, 11 December 2015.

Please vote for A Heart for Duns and enable us to use the funds for the benefit of the local community.

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Thanks from A Heart for Duns

Many thanks to all who supported and voted for the Duns Community Theatre bid in The People’s Millions competition.

Although we did not win the head-to-head with the Peebles music project, we did gain the bonus award for the runner-up among the six contestants in the ITV Borders region. This means that Duns still gets the full £43,000 that we requested in the original

The award will be used mainly to equip the Volunteer Hall with new lighting, sound, projection and staging systems. This will make film nights and theatre performances much more enjoyable, and we hope that many people of all ages will benefit from the new facilities.

We could not have done it without you, so once again, thank you!

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