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Darren and Robyn bring friends together to change lives

This is a story about the power of friendship and how one young couple is inspiring their community to reach families with vital support during these difficult times.

When the lockdown was announced, Darren and Robyn Clark, from Irvine in Ayrshire, were in the final stages of organising their annual fundraising day. They immediately set aside the disappointment that it couldn’t go ahead and got busy coming up with an alternative.

Darren said:

“I lost my mum Dorothy to Huntington’s disease two years ago and I know how devastating it is watch someone you love become completely overwhelmed physically and mentally by HD. Robyn and I will do anything to help other families going through this, and we’re passionate about raising awareness because HD is not generally well known or understood.

“Our friends always make the fundraising day a massive success. We hold it in a local venue and people bring their children during the day then it goes on into the evening. There are raffles, competitions, face painting and fantastic prizes, and we all come together to help families who are living with the disease.

“We needed to think in a different way this year, knowing that our friends want to do something, especially right now when families need SHA’s services more than ever.”

Darren and Robyn hit upon Facebook and football, bringing pals together online to buy spaces on a mystery football team scratch card. In just a couple of hours all 100 squad names had been snapped up, raising £500 for SHA. It was so popular that they did it again a couple of days later – boosting their charity total by a further £500.

“There’s no sport on right now, and people are missing it, so it’s a good way to create a bit of excitement and raise money at the same time. We announce the winners live on Facebook and everyone watches Robyn scratching the cards to reveal the winning teams,” said Darren.

“We know our friends want to do more, so we’re going to do a football card once a month for SHA’s Stay Home and Step Up crisis appeal. It’s not what we planned but with such amazing friends, nothing is stopping us!”

Visit https://hdscotland.org/stayhomeandstepup/ to join Stay Home and Step Up.

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