Community rallies around fundraiser for St Ninians toddlers group stalwart's cancer fight

The people of St Ninians have rallied round a community champion currently undergoing a gruelling cancer fight.

Locals have launched a fundraising effort to gather cash for a respite holiday for well-known volunteer Nancey Kelly, who was involved in the local toddlers’ group for several years, supporting families with childminding care and vital trips away.

Nancey, 69, is currently in remission from a breast cancer diagnosis, but is still undergoing regular chemotherapy and surgeries.

Any money raised will pay for her to enjoy a much-needed break, as well as supporting both the Maggie’s and Strathcarron charities.

The fundraising has been coordinated by Nancey’s close friend Jennifer Lean, who has already shaved her head alongside eight-year-old son Thomas and also climbed Ben Ledi last weekend.

Jennifer, 36, also organised a fun day which took place yesterday at the Mayfield Centre - in an effort to add to the four-figure sum already raised.

She said: “Nancey has done loads of fundraising herself in the past and has previously raised more than £7,000 for children in the area - she really is one of life’s angels and it has been a privilege to help her.

“I’m sure it will be a real success with the summer holidays kicking off and it will be great for Nancey to be surrounded with family and friends on the day.”

Posting on her page as she kicked off the fundraising, Jennifer also wrote: “Nancey has ran the St Ninians Toddlers which was a massive resource for the people of St Ninians.

“At times she salvaged and ensured the toddlers didn’t shut down and that was a lot of work and dedication on her part. She worked for many years as a childminder and not many people haven’t been to Nancey (myself included).

“If you weren’t a wean who was watched by Nancey, it would be your siblings or your own.

“New mums received so much maternal support and guidance at the toddlers.

“Nancey is non expectant for any sort of gesture or appreciation for her community work. Many people will agree strongly that a respite holiday is so deserving for Nancey.

“My fundraiser is to give Nancey and Robert a respite holiday after her gruelling cancer treatment.”

Speaking to the Observer, Nancey said she “couldn’t thank everyone enough” and said those organising the events - including many she had cared for - had been “amazing” in offering their backing.

The latest tally currently sits at £1,905 at time of going to press.

The fun day included a raffle with prizes including signed pictures of local UFC fighter Chris Duncan.

You can support the Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/f/a-respite-holiday-fundraiser