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Huntly family's £1 million fundraising effort for Cancer Research UK


By Pat Scott

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Angie Shearer, second left with dad Jim, mum Irene and brother Alan at a Relay for Life.
Angie Shearer, second left with dad Jim, mum Irene and brother Alan at a Relay for Life.

A Huntly family have raised £1 million for Cancer Research UK - and their fundraising keeps on going.

Driven by the death from cancer of her Granny Thomson, aged 61, in 2000, Angie Shearer (36) rallied the support of her family to raise cash for the charity which aims to find a cure for the disease.

She formed a family team for Cancer Research UK's first Relay for Life in Aberdeen in 2001 and even when it moved to Peterhead, they just kept going.

For eight years, as well as organising her own team, Angie was chairwoman of the organising committee.

When the family's fundraising hit £750,000, Angie was awarded an MBE.

Angie Shearer with her Grandad Eck Thomson on the day she received the MBE.
Angie Shearer with her Grandad Eck Thomson on the day she received the MBE.

A PE teacher, she said: “We never imagined raising £1 million as a family when we started 20 years ago. We just wanted to fund-raise to help beat cancer, but as the years have gone on, we have got closer to raising £1 million and it is incredible to actually achieve this milestone.

"It is even more special because not only is it the 20th anniversary of my first Relay For Life in memory of my Granny Thompson, we also lost my Granda Thompson to cancer in June 2020.

"It has been really special to hit the million in memory of him, Granny, my Auntie Sandra and Uncle Ian.

"We know with Cancer Research UK’s research, the money is making a difference and we can beat cancer."

Angie and Alan Shearer with Alan's son Ryan.
Angie and Alan Shearer with Alan's son Ryan.

As well as continuing with Relay for Life, Angie launched a Twilight Walk in Inverurie in 2010.

Since the first event, over 5000 people have taken part in the annual 10K walk.

COVID restrictions in 2020 meant it could not go ahead but instead Angie organised a virtual 10/10/10/ challenge - 10K over 10 days in the tenth month.

Building on that a virtual 100K is under way culminating next month.

She explained: "People have the flexibility to walk or run their 100k. Initially it was just folk who had done the Twilight Walk but now people all over the UK are taking part. It has raised £68,000 online and the cash is still coming in. The walks have raised £400,000 over the years."

Vikki Merrilees from Cancer Research UK said: ‘We are so grateful to Angie and her family for everything they have done over the years - for a single family to raise £1 million is phenomenal.

"The family didn’t let lockdown get in the way of their fundraising efforts - they quickly came up with innovative virtual fundraising ideas which inspired lots of people from across the country to get involved and donate."

Lorraine Coleman and Joyce Cameron who lead the Peterhead Relay for Life added: “This is a very special team and it is led by a very special captain – Angie. One team, raising £1 million, is mind-blowing. We are so proud to have them in our Relay, inspired by their dedication to fundraising and by their very modest and lovely manner.”


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