By PETER JOHNSON
THE CHIEF executive of the CLAN 123 appeal has said she is “speechless” at the amazing generosity of Shetlanders in raising £90,000 in only 14 weeks.
Speaking at a function for fund-raisers at Lerwick Town Hall last Thursday Debbie Thomson said that she felt humbled by the strength of the Shetland action to raise funds for a new CLAN house and centre.
So far the campaign has raised pledges of £1.4 million but needs £5 million to build and continue running the cancer support centre in Aberdeen. Shetland’s contribution is cash in the bank as opposed to promises of money.
Mrs Thomson said: “It’s been a tremendous response from Shetland. It’s quite humbling to think the whole community has got behind us for this project.
“There’s still a long way to go but considering the space of time, Shetland has done so well. We need a minimum of three but ideally five million pounds to keep the service going.”
At present CLAN Haven at the Rosemount Church sees 10,000 visitors a year including many from the Northern Isles, but statistics point to a 20 per cent rise in demand for the service by 2020.
“We have been full nearly all year and have had to turn people away, and we do not like doing that,” Mrs Thomson said. “Our vision for the future is that cancer support should be available for everyone – patients and family members.”
Mrs Thomson joined Orkney CLAN organiser Karen Scollay, her Shetland counterpart Elaine Jamieson and long-term CLAN house worker Rosemary Sim at the Town Hall gathering which was attended by many other Shetland CLAN fund-raisers.