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Moray & Banffshire Heroes 2024: Fundraiser shortlist revealed!

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Here is your shortlist for the fundraiser award. Voting closes on Sunday, March 24.

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Lucy Lintott Smith

Lucy Lintott Smith. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Lucy Lintott Smith. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

A Moray woman determined to help find a cure for motor neurone disease has successfully raised more than £320,000.

Twenty-nine-year-old Lucy Lintott Smith, who lives in Elgin, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) 10 years ago. Since then she’s married school crush Tommy Smith; they have two young children under five.

Her nomination for fundraiser of the year said: “Lucy’s fight and determination is amazing. She’s just focussed on making the most of her precious time with her family and doing everything she can to raise money for MND research.”

Lucy said: “We’ve organised a lot of coffee mornings, seasonal events and a recent charity ball in November generated 20k. It’s my hope that a cure for motor neurone disease can be found so that it can be stopped in its tracks or the symptoms reversed. I’ve shared my story on TV documentaries and on blogs; I want other people to know more about MND and do what they can to help. The sky’s the limit when it comes to fundraising, I’ve already got my thinking cap on for the next fundraising event.”

MND is believed to affect approximately 5,000 people in the UK. Lucy is one of the youngest people in Scotland who lives with it, MND is typically diagnosed in people older than 50. When she returned home she had a strange limp and was referred to a neurologist, who eventually diagnosed MND.

Emily Thomson

Emily Thomson.
Emily Thomson.

Nine-year-old Emily Thomson from Greenwards Primary School in Elgin has been shortlisted for a Heroes award.

Emily, along with the support of her mum Claire, dad Mark and older sister Eve has dedicated time to make woollen Christmas crafts; her projects have included woollen gnomes, mini stockings, sprouts and pine cones.

Her nomination said: “Emily sold her crafts at Brownies and the Anderson’s Care Home Christmas market; she always gives great customer service with a smile on her face.”

Her mum Claire said: “My dad, Graeme Archibald, was a Governor of Anderson’s Care Home and partly because of those connections Emily wanted to give back. She’s raised more than £250 over the last couple of years.”

Mark, Emily’s dad, added: “We’re very proud of her. As a family we really enjoy making these crafts together and it’s like a little conveyor belt once we get started. Claire’s mum enjoys knitting and crafting so it’s been nice for her to get involved and help create the decorations to sell.”

Craig Dick

Craig Dick.
Craig Dick.

Teenager Craig Dick from Keith has been shortlisted for a Heroes award having pulled in more than £3,000 towards his volunteer trip to Kenya.

The sixteen-year-old Keith Grammar School pupil has been a volunteer at Moray School Bank for almost two years, clocking up more than 260 hours towards his Saltire Award (a Scottish Government initiative to recognise and reward the commitment and contribution from the country’s young volunteers).

His nomination said: “Craig is a regular at the new Moray School Bank pop-in shop and is an inspiration to others. He’s helped to share their fundraising work with others including at the Youth Philanthropy Initiative Scotland and Keith Rotary Club.”

Craig said: “I’m delighted to have been shortlisted. I also make and sell recycled jars with lots of positive thoughts in them so that if someone is having a bad day it will make them smile. I want to help them brighten their day. I just want to help people wherever possible.”

His Mum and Dad added: “Craig is really excited about the Kenya trip and helping in the school. We are very proud of how much effort he has put into fundraising for the trip and for the Moray School Bank. He is passionate about fundraising and making a positive difference in the world.”

Kris O'Neill

Kris O'Neill.
Kris O'Neill.

An Elgin-based car event set up for fun and to raise funds for the Marfan Trust has been shortlisted for a Heroes award.

In 2015 brothers Kris and Liam O’Neill, who were big fans of Burt Reynold movies, cars and Scottish scenery, decided to create a family friendly activity, which they aptly named The Cannonbawz Run.

Liam suffered from Marfan Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the body’s connective tissue. Very Sadly Liam lost his fight against Marfan syndrome in 2021 following complications after surgery.

Liam never allowed his condition to get in the way of his goals. He achieved a masters degree, taught karate and mentored young children as a sensei; he was awarded a brown belt, and posthumously given black belt status.

Kris said: “Liam was a beautiful guy and the best brother we could ever have asked for; although I doubted for a while if I could keep The Cannonbawz Run going without him, I was spurred on by my own family and the might of the Cannonbawz community to continue. It’s important to keep Liam's legacy and memory alive. I feel his presence right there in the passenger seat next to me. He’ll always be my wingman. He’d be so proud that we’re still raising funds!”

Over the past nine years the brothers have raised more than 70k for the Marfan Trust, each year they also donate to a guest charity.

Northern Asbestos Services is sponsoring the fundraiser award.

Managing director, Sean Donnelly, said: “Northern Asbestos Services is delighted to be sponsoring the fundraiser category for a second year. The Moray & Banffshire Hero awards is a great way to reward the people of our community that deserve recognition. Sponsoring the fundraiser award holds profound significance for me as it represents an opportunity to recognise those who dedicate time and effort to fundraising, this award not only acknowledges their hard work but also serves as an inspiration for others to get involved.

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