600 Hours Marie Curie care secured

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An Angus woman has been hailed “an inspiration” after a New Year’s resolution made in 2014 has paid for almost 600 hours of Marie Curie care.

Just one year after resolving to make a difference in her community, Linda Merilees, of Carnoustie, alongside friends as volunteers, helped raise over £11,500 in a new fund-raising group for Marie Curie. This money ‘buys’ hundreds of hours of free professional nursing care for terminally ill people at their homes in this postcode area.

Thanks to the group’s hard work, the charity which provides high quality hands-on care to people with a range of terminal conditions, including cancer, in their own homes, has been able to deliver more care when and where it has been needed most.

Linda, a hairdresser with Regency Hair & Beauty in the town’s Queen Street, admits she is in awe of what the group has achieved since it was launched in March 2015. She said: “It has just been brilliant. I started last year determined to give something back and now, as a group, we’ve managed to make a real difference to families in our community fighting terminal illness.”

Linda Merilees continued: “It has been hard work but it’s also been so much fun and we’re all hugely grateful to every friend, family member, local business and generous members of the public who have helped us get this far – this is their success as much as ours.”

Together with husband Andrew Brown, Linda’s fellow volunteers include Pam Cruickshank, Laura Ramsay, Jenny Paterson and Hilary Brown, all from Carnoustie.

The team reached their total with events including an abseil down the University of Dundee tower building in June; a Blooming Great Tea Party at Linda’s work in July, a fancy dress event at The Station Hotel in November and can collections in the town throughout the year.

Marie Curie patron Petra McMillan, also from Carnoustie, applauded the group’s work and praised Linda for having the initiative to contact her at the start of last year.

She said: “Quite simply, the world needs more Lindas. She is an inspiration and the perfect example of what any one of us can do once we put our minds to it.

“We hope Guide & Gazette readers will be inspired by Linda and her friends and consider donating a little of their own time to Marie Curie in 2016. Just donating an hour or two each month can make a big difference in your own community.”

Next month the charity launches their biggest annual fund-raising drive, the Great Daffodil Appeal, which involves the sale of millions of the bright yellow daffodil lapel pins. The charity is keen to hear from anyone interested in helping with local collections. For more information, visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil or get in touch with petramcmillan@sky.com or via 07717 810365.