Farmer’s birthday raises thousands for research

Pictured at the presentation of the two cheques are Dr Rory McCrimmon, Professor Elaina Rankin, farmer Alan Sturrock and other members of the Sturrock family.

Pictured at the presentation of the two cheques are Dr Rory McCrimmon, Professor Elaina Rankin, farmer Alan Sturrock and other members of the Sturrock family.

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A selfless gesture by an Angus farmer who invited hundreds of local people to join his 70th birthday celebrations earlier this year has led to a donation of thousands of pounds to cancer and diabetes research.

Allan Sturrock, of Carlogie Farm near Carnoustie, celebrated his birthday in June with a gala day at his farm, which also includes a fishery and an equestrian centre.

He invited around 350 families to join the fun, which included a sponsored fishing competition, run by George Nicoll, in which 50 competitors took part, and a showjumping event with 42 competitors, which was run by Janice Sturrock, daughter-in-law of Allan.

The celebrations raised more than £12,000 pounds which Mr Sturrock has now gifted in equal shares of £6100 to local researchers in NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee working in cancer and diabetes.

“I decided to have a big party to celebrate my 70th but I also thought that by having a farm and the facilities, I had an opportunity to raise a lot of money for these great causes,” said Mr Sturrock.

“We asked everyone who came down the farm road on the day to donate £10 and we’ve received a lot of other donations as well. I am absolutely delighted with the way people responded to the event. Many thanks to all who volunteered their time and those who donated to the event.”

Mr Sturrock laid on a barbecue for the day which saw the crowds share in two roast pigs and hundreds of burgers and sausages.

Mr Sturrock has previously raised thousands of pounds for other local charities including the Maggies Centre, Roxburghe House and Macmillan Cancer Support.

“My son lost an eye to cancer recently and my wife was unwell, although thankfully both recovered,” said Mr Sturrock. “My oldest grand-daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so I was keen to do whatever I could to support the research into these.”

Dr Rory McCrimmon, an expert in Type 1 Diabetes at the University of Dundee, said, “This is a marvellous gesture by Mr Sturrock and the local community who have supported him. This money will go towards work taking place here in Tayside, which we have established as an international centre of excellence in diabetes research thanks in large part to the tremendous backing we have had from the public.”

Professor Elaine Rankin, a cancer expert based at Ninewells Hospital, said, “This is a most generous donation.

“We are most grateful to Mr Sturrock and the efforts of all of those who have supported him in raising this magnificent sum.

“The money will go towards our work trying to improve the outcomes of patients with cancer here in Tayside. We are looking not just at treatment but also at other aspects of care such as changes in taste caused by chemotherapy, at the needs of the family of patients with cancer, particularly those with lung cancer, malignant melanoma and gynaecological cancers.

“This donation will help us utilise our expertise for the benefit of current and future patients.”