Char­ity in tod­dler’s mem­ory passes half-mil­lion mark

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad - By Jodie Molyneux

A CHAR­ITY set up in mem­ory of a North-east tod­dler has passed the half-mil­lion pound mile­stone.

Kayleigh’s Wee Stars (KWS), based in Old­mel­drum, reached the fig­ure af­ter its an­nual cy­cle event saw the num­ber of en­trants dou­ble in the space of a year.

The event, held in Bal­later, saw 260 par­tic­i­pants cy­cle 57- and 95-mile routes.

The char­ity, founded by Jonathan and Anna Cordiner, was started in 2012 af­ter the death of their twoyear-old daugh­ter Kayleigh from an atyp­i­cal ter­a­toid rhaboid tu­mour, a type of ter­mi­nal brain tu­mour.

Hav­ing taken time off work as pri­mary teach­ers to make the most of Kayleigh’s last months, Jonathan and Anna set up KWS in or­der to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port for other fam­i­lies who may not have the sup­port net­work they had.

The 2017 Bal­later fundraiser, which alone raised more than £10,000, was sup­ported by Tech­nipFMC, which set up cor­po­rate teams and a JustGiv­ing page to raise fur­ther funds.

Along with the an­nual cy­cle event, which took place last week­end, KWS also or­gan­ises and hosts a 10k race in Barra which is now in its third year.

Par­tic­i­pants of the chal­leng­ing cross coun­try run must make the 1km as­cent of Barra Hill, near Anna said: “It’s a route Jonathan Old­mel­drum, and cross the site of ran when Kayleigh was poorly so it the Bat­tle of Barra, which took place has a spe­cial mean­ing.” more than 700 years ago. The in­au­gu­ral 10k race in 2016 raised £15,000, and both events have at­tracted 300 en­trants.

As well as or­gan­is­ing its own events, Kayleigh’s Wee Stars has at­tended many sports gath­er­ings over the years in­clud­ing the New­machar 10k, Beast Race, Ha­zle­head ParkRun and the Ex­treme North Quarathon in Ire­land.

It has also hosted a num­ber of fundrais­ers in­clud­ing ladies days, spon­sored slims, jum­ble sales and raf­fles.

Jonathan, the head teacher of Meik­lemill School in El­lon, said: “We are also ex­tremely lucky that peo­ple often choose KWS to raise funds for by be­ing spon­sored at sport­ing events. A main source of our char­ity in­come is when we are a busi­ness’s nom­i­nated char­ity for the year. This cur­rent year ASCO has pledged to raise £50,000 to split be­tween our­selves and SANDS, and Tech­nipFMC spon­sored our cy­cle ride.”

The £500,000 raised by Jonathan and Anna, along with their close friends Ni­cola and Ewan Alexan­der and Keith Pater­son, will go to­wards fam­i­lies across the coun­try liv­ing with a ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

Anna said: “Our main aim is to re­lieve the fi­nan­cial pres­sure on these fam­i­lies and al­low par­ents to take time off work to spend with their child.

“We make sure that each fam­ily re­ceives enough money to make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to their cir­cum­stances.”

Proud our lit­tle girl has made such a huge dif­fer­ence

in the sad­dle: Two of the par­tic­i­pants of the char­ity’s Bal­later cy­cling event. fam­ily: Jonathan and Anna Cordiner with daugh­ter Kayleigh.

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