Finlay’s Fund success is thanks to local community support

A STONEHAVEN mother has praised the community and thanked her friends and family as she prepares to hold her latest fundraiser.

Gail Sangster and her husband Bruce set up Finlay’s Fund three years ago to help to pay for vital equipment and treatments for their son Finlay who has cerebral palsy.

The Fund has since taken on a life of its own, with its own website and Facebook page and regular fundraising events, thanks to the help and support of the family’s relative’s and friends, and the wider community.

Gail said: “We have had a very successful year with regards to donations. We have been very lucky that people have approached the committee to offer their support and have been raising funds through their own methods.

“We really can’t thank people enough for their continued support. We are now in our third year of the Fund and Finlay would not be where he is today without it. Bruce and I could never afford to supply him with the equipment he has or the therapy he has received, not only does it help Finlay it supports us as a family too. “We are truly blessed with the support from family, friends but most importantly the local community.”

The latest fundraising event is a Casino Night on October 8, which has a James Bond theme. There will be a raffle on the night, and anyone who wishes to donate a prize to the raffle can contact Gail through the Finlay’s Fund website at

The Fund received a huge boost at the beginning of the month when Gail’s sister, Karen Birss and friend Kirsty Hart ran the Glasgow Half Marathon on September 4 to raise money. They have so far raised over £800. Gail said: “I was so proud of both of them as it was really hot but they breezed it and looked very fresh even after 13 miles.”

The Fund committee agreed earlier this year to use some of the money raised to contribute towards building an extension and create a purpose-built ground-floor bedroom and bathroom for Finlay at the family home.

Gail said: “Finlay should be able to move in to his purpose-built bedroom and bathroom within the month or so. The extension is going to make a huge difference to our family life as we will no longer have to carry Finlay up and down the stairs every day. His room is spacious to allow him growth and the council will be providing hoists in the bedroom and bathroom to ensure his and our safety as he gets heavier.

The extension has only become a reality thanks to the Fund committee agreeing to help with the financial costs of the extension - they have covered a quarter, we have a grant for a quarter from Aberdeenshire Council and Bruce and I have funded the other half. As you can imagine this was a huge relief and strain off Bruce and I as financially covering the whole cost of the extension was not an option available to us - we are eternally grateful for the support of the Fund.”

Tickets for the Casino Night can be bought from the Belvedere Hotel and cost £15 each.