Niamh’s Dream begins

Niamh accepts the �1,000 cheque from the Rev. Barbara Ann Sweetin as her parents Graeme and Michelle and staff and pupils look on.

Niamh accepts the �1,000 cheque from the Rev. Barbara Ann Sweetin as her parents Graeme and Michelle and staff and pupils look on.

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THE STRATHMORE Primary School community pulled out all the stops on Friday to officially launch the Niamh’s Dream appeal.

Staff and pupils dressed up for the day in a show of unity to support eight-year-old Niamh Horton and her family’s fund-raising drive to fund essential physiotherapy treatment.

Niamh is waiting to undergo major surgery on her spine to ease her cerebral palsy. She is only the second child in Tayside to be given the surgery, which costs £25,000, and her parents Michelle and Graeme have the daunting task of rasing £40,000 for the intensive physiotherapy which will follow.

The fund got off to a great start when the Rev. Barbara Ann Sweetin presented a cheque for £1,000 from the East and Old Parish Church.

She told the Dispatch and Herald: “I have known Niamh since I arrived in Forfar and became the school chaplain. She is a lovely young girl and is always smiling. She tries so very hard and is involved in all aspects of school life. East and Old Parish Church has a restricted fund that was set up in the early 1900s and we can only access this money for very special conditions. I explained to my Kirk Session about Niamh and told them about the launch of Niamh’s Dream and they were more than happy to help the launch of this charity by giving £1,000 from the fund. As chaplain I am involved in class work every Monday morning in the school and also conduct the school assembly. Primary 6 and 7 pupils come to the church every Thursday to learn cooking life skills and then serve the food they make to the public at the Heavenly Bites Cafe. East and Old Church also give a donation to the school every March to help children who are less fortunate than others. The links with East and Old and Strathmore School are strong and good and we help in any way we can.”

Niamh’s mum Michelle thanked all those who had helped launch “Niamh’s Dream”. She said: “I was totally overwhelmed on Friday. Every single pupil and staff member joined in. The next big thing we have is a bag pack at Morrisons in Dundee on March 16 and there are lots of other things planned. There really is a community out there.”