Family’s cancer centre plan for Glenrothes

Jak's grandfather Walter Barr and mum Alison Barr want to play a key role in the Warout Stadium redevelopment. (Pic: Walter Neilson)
Jak's grandfather Walter Barr and mum Alison Barr want to play a key role in the Warout Stadium redevelopment. (Pic: Walter Neilson)
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The family of a 15-year-old who lost his fight to a rare form of cancer in 2015 want to build a children’s cancer care centre in Glenrothes.

Allison Barr, the mum of the late Jak Trueman, says it will provide the perfect legacy to her son, who is buried just a few miles away in Markinch.

Since his death, the family has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds through the Team Jak charity, which supports families whose children are battling cancer.

Having already helped create the £3 million Jak’s Den facility built in Livingston in December 2015, which has proved a major success, the family now wants to replicate it in Glenrothes, creating the first dedicated children’s cancer support facility of its kind in Fife.

“It would be wonderful to be able to create a lasting legacy for Jak, especially as he is so close,” explained Allison.

“Having family here, having attended Auchmuity High School as a child and having taught at Warout and Markinch schools, I also think of Glenrothes as being home, therefore the town was really the obvious choice.”

The ambitious plan, which is to be incorporated into the wider redevelopment proposals for Warout Stadium, will provide a facility offering a wide range of support and respite for families .

“As well as having the support network for families, the centre would provide an escape from the stress and difficulties that come with such struggles,” said Jak’s grandfather, Walter Barr, who lives in Glenrothes. “We were approached to see if we would like to be part of the Warout redevelopment plans and we’re delighted to be involved.

“While that is the long-term goal, what we need now is to build up a relationship and awareness in the town for what Team Jak and Jak’s Den is all about,” Walter added.

The family has a number of charity events lined up including, a Ladies’ Afternoon Tea and Fashion Show at Balgeddie House Hotel next month.

The family now hopes to secure an interim venue to base the charity allowing them to continue to develop in Glenrothes in the meantime.

“That will allow us to build up a relationship and show the public what we are all about,” said Allison. “It will also provide an alternative for families who would otherwise have the expense and difficulty of traveling to Livingston.”

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