By ROSALIND GRIFFITHS
MORE than half a million pounds of lottery funding was pledged to the CLAN appeal this week. The grant will provide a massive boost to the charity’s aim of building a new cancer support centre in Aberdeen.
The Big Lottery Fund has pledged £633,336 to the cause following a successful approach by the CLAN (Cancer Link Aberdeen & North) fund-raising team. The award will be a significant step towards meeting the target of the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal, in which one charity has set itself two years to raise £3 million.
The aim is to build a new centre in Aberdeen to accommodate and support cancer patients and their families and friends. The present CLAN centre is well-used by Shetlanders, many of whom describe it as a “godsend,” providing as it does a home from home for anyone affected by cancer from diagnosis onwards.
Chief executive of CLAN Debbie Thomson said of the award: “This is wonderful news. The award recognises what our charity has already achieved and this grant from the Big Lottery Fund will help us towards the fulfilment of our vision – cancer support for all in a fit-for-purpose building.”
The proposed new centre will be able to cater for increased numbers of people from the Northern Isles and remote areas of north-east Scotland, and will be conveniently situated near to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and the local hospice, Roxburghe House.
The present successful format of accommodation at CLAN haven and a support unit at CLAN house offering information, counselling and complementary therapies will be replicated in the new build, but the larger premises will mean more room for families and a greater range of therapies.
Big Lottery Fund Scotland director Dharmendra Kanani said: “This project recognises that cancer targets not only the individual but also the people who care for them and their families and that the well-being of those suffering cancer needs more than a traditional medical model.
“For those who have to travel great distances for vital medical care, this [centre] can mean the difference between a speedy recovery and one damaged by greater stress.”
Meanwhile local fund-raising has been going well, with the total this week reaching £23,870.
Boosting the coffers recently were a flower arranging demonstration by Lerwick hairdresser Peter Black, which attracted a full house at the Methodist church and raised £611.50, and a coffee afternoon which collected £327.65.
Sunday teas at Cunningsburgh Hall raised £640, and a fish and chip night at Baltasound Hall which raised more than £1,000. The organisers of all events would like to thank those who supported them.
The Tingwall Sportive cycling event at the weekend will give a large donation to the appeal when the money is handed in. Participants could chose to cycle a short (12.6 miles) or longer (36.5 miles) distance in a non-competitive way. The total raised is expected to be around £3,500, comprising some £2,400 from sponsorship and the rest coming through the Sunday teas, entry fee to the cycle and face painting.
Organiser Caroline Simpson said: “We had 56 cyclists taking part in the two routes despite the murky weather. Everybody made it back safely and said they had really enjoyed their cycle. “We’re hoping to see more people out on their bikes now and are looking to possibly do another Sportive next year.”
Ms Simpson said Marvin Inkster deserved special mention for gathering £790 in sponsor money.
Sales from the CLAN shop in the Toll Clock Shopping Centre have been going well, with £1,400 being taken this week, and contributions have also been coming in from collecting tins and private donations.
The Shetland branch of the CLAN appeal (it is also taking place in Orkney and the north-east of Scotland) was launched at the end of July and will run for 12 months. No official target has been set.