From climbing mountains to gin tasting – all for Maggie’s Fife

Members of Abel Ganz present a cheque to  Alison Allan, Maggie's centre manager. Pic by George McLuskie.
Members of Abel Ganz present a cheque to Alison Allan, Maggie's centre manager. Pic by George McLuskie.

It’s been a busy few months for our Maggie’s Centre, with generous volunteers raising almost £9000 towards the centre’s running costs.

December may not seem like the best choice for climbing mountains, but that’s just what an intrepid group of workers from the Amazon distribution depot in Dunfermline undertook when they conquered Ben Nevis in the snow, raising over £3000 in the process.

The Amazon workers climbing Ben Nevis.

The Amazon workers climbing Ben Nevis.

The group of ten all completed the climb, despite just starting training four months before the challenge and being waist high in snow at times.

Maggie’s was also the beneficiary of a cheque for over £2600 presented last week, the proceeds of the annual Prog Before Xmas mini festival at Drygate Brewery in Glasgow.

Set up by progressive rock band Abel Ganz. the event draws fans from all over the world.

Its success means it has now become an annual event after member Hugh Carter from Auchtermuchty was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer in 2015.

The gin tasting night raised �3000.

The gin tasting night raised �3000.

The band decided to donate all future money from the festivals to Maggie’s Fife where Hugh attends the men’s support group.

Denis Smith, band leader and drummer together with Hugh and his wife Maria presented a cheque to Alison Allan, Maggie’s Fife centre manager, when they visited the centre last week.

Hugh said: “Our thanks go to all the bands which played at the mini festival; local bands Long Earth and Comedy of Errors, headliners Tiger Moth Tales from Nottingham and hosts Abel Ganz.”

Hugh (64), also told the story of his connection with Maggie’s at a special reception for Maggie’s Centres around the country held at the Scottish Parliament in January to celebrate 21 years since the first centre opened in Edinburgh.

He said: “Maggie’s has been a lifeline for me. I always know I will get a warm welcome, it is somewhere I can properly relax and yet at the same time I know the staff can answer any questions I might have – from my treatment and side affects to finances and how to get a better sleep.

“I would be lost without Maggie’s.”

The most recent fundraiser was a gin tasting night held in the Strathearn Hotel, Kirkcaldy, which raised £3000.

It was organised by Bruce Lamond from Travel Your World in Kirkcaldy, in conjunction with his friend Iain Brown from Lundin Distilling who produces his own gorse gin which went down a treat with guests attending the fundraiser.

Bruce explained: “My mum passed away two years ago from cancer and although she didn’t use Maggie’s I was inspired after visiting the centre.

“I decided I wanted to do a fundraiser for a local charity, and Maggie’s offers such a lot of help to people in Fife that I decided to organise this gin tasting event with the proceeds going to them.

“I had help from Alastair Cameron who used to be on the Maggie’s fundraising board, and we set up a Facebook page to promote it. All the tickets sold out within four days.”

For a £15 ticket guests got to try gin cocktails with a buffet and entertainment.

Bruce plans to hold more such events in future and is also doing the Great North Run in September.