A selfless Peterhead fundraiser is in the midst of a four-week drive to raise not only festive cheer but as much money as possible in support of a struggling north-east family.
Sharon Reid and her partner Brian Wallace have transformed their home in Peterhead’s Berryden Road into a winter wonderful bedecked with dazzling lights, a post box offering return mail from Santa Claus and, each weekend, a visit from the main man himself.
It’s the second year running the pair have welcomed residents into their garden, last year raising £1,800 for the For the Love of Holly appeal in aid of Peterhead youngster Holly Shepherd.
This year, though, their supporting a cause even closer to home.
The money they raise from donations and the hampers raffle will go to Gemma Hay, 27, her partner Darren Batty and the couple’s three children, after the family was injured in a serious car crash on the A90 near Lonmay last month.
The family, from Peterhead, all survived but Miss Hay, remains in hospital with serious injuries more than one month on.
Determined to make her recovery as worry-free as possible and to ensure the family have no financial worries during this time, Miss Reid is dedicating the whole month of December to helping the family.
“We have lived next door to Gemma’s parents for a few years and Gemma grew up next door,” she said. “The children are out of hospital but Gemma is going to be months more in hospital. It’s life-changing injuries she will be dealing with.
“We’re not 100% sure what injuries she’ll be left with, it’s just a case of waiting to see how she gets on with extensive physio and so on.”
Miss Reid, a mother and grandmother, also works full time as a carer with Aberdeenshire Council, but with help from daughter Fiona Smith, 33, she’s also gathered enough donations from generous local businesses and shop to create almost 100 festive hampers which are being raffled off in aid of the family.
She added: “The response has been amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction or support. The garden has been twice as busy this year as it was last year with visitors. We’re asking people to put a small donation in a box for Gemma’s family and then they can meet Santa, post a letter in the box and even get one written back to them in return.”
All the money will be donated to the family to help them “with whatever they need”, Miss Reid added.
“Gemma worked full-time while raising three kids all under six,” she said. “The money will be handed to them to spend on whatever they need going forward.”
With her home currently full of hampers, the countdown is now on for the big draw next Sunday, December 20.
“It’s just amazing how many of the shops and businesses have been pleased to help,” she added.
The family were hurt in the two car smash three miles south of Fraserburgh on Monday, November 9. A fundraising page launched by friend Abbigail Stephen has since raised more than £5,000.
More information can be found on the Sharon’s Xmas fundraiser Facebook page.