Give Oliver’s appeal a summer high five!

LoveOliver new for you event in Kirkcaldy
LoveOliver new for you event in Kirkcaldy

Hopes are high for a five-star response during a busy summer to support one of the area’s best-known cancer charities.

A packed diary of activities has been put together for LoveOliver, the charity founded in memory of a special little baby.

How do you intend to High5 Love Oliver this year?

Jennifer Gill

Oliver Gill, of Leven, was born in the summer of 2010 with a rare and aggressive form of cancer and passed away on Christmas Day that year, aged just five months.

But the brave tot inspired and delighted so many people during his short life that relatives and friends wanted his legacy to help other families in a similar predicament.

They founded the charity in his name to fund research into childhood cancer and provide practical support to families affected by it.

Parents Jennifer and Andy have two more children, but young Oliver is still a huge influence in all their lives – and three-year-old Micah, plus one-year-old Rory, are gradually finding out just what a special person their big brother was.

The LoveOliver campaign has so far raised over £250,000 and donated over £100,000 to research.

Special events are being arranged this year to mark what would have been Oliver’s fifth birthday – and the number five is playing a central role.

The big question is ‘How do you intend to High5 Love Oliver this year’? with a host of suggestions for fund-raising.

Jennifer (29), a religious studies teacher at Waid Academy in Anstruther, said she and Andy (31), a maths teacher at Glenwood High School in Glenrothes, understood how devastating a diagnosis was for the parents of a child with cancer and how going through the treatment, and other factors, “changed everything”.

Forthcoming events include, this Friday, from 10am-11.30am, a Baby Ball, linked to the High5 challenge.

“This is being organised by one of our supporters at the upstairs East Fife FC suite for babies to dress up smart and have a boogie with their parents,” said Jennifer.

A quiz night is taking place at Styx in Kirkcaldy the same evening, while on July 3 at 3.30 p.m, there’s a sponsored ‘no walk’ across the Forth Road Bridge – so participants have to cross via rollerskates, scooter, space hopper, or other methods.

“We did a bridge spacehopathon a few years back and it was a really great event,” added Jennifer.

And on July 10, Oliver’s birthday, starting at 6.50 a.m. (the time he was born), a group of around 35 cyclists will embark on a 75-mile ride along the Fife Coastal Path from the Forth Bridge to the Tay Bridge, with a small number doing a 30-mile option to Blacketyside Farm.

A recent ‘new to you’ sale in Kirkcaldy raised nearly £1200 and was very well attended, with another to follow in November.

Oliver would have turned five on July 10 – so his family has unveiling the ‘High 5 LoveOliver’ campaign, appealing to as many people as possible to take part. Suggestions on the campaign website include: “Maybe you could donate £5, tell five more people about LoveOliver, collect all your 5ps to donate, or have 50p bake sale at work? Or maybe you would like to take on a physical challenge – couch to 5k, 5K a day for five days, five-a-side football match, 50 lengths of the swimming pool or get a group of five together to complete a larger distance? Or maybe you have your own High 5 ideas? We would love you to High 5 LoveOliver during summer 2015.” Details of the main activities can be found via www.loveoliver.org.uk or facebook.com/loveoliver