Woolen mill Johnstons of Elgin has pledged to support a Huntington’s Disease group in Moray after an employee lost her father to the condition.
The genetic neurological disease has no cure and has a 50% chance of being passed from a parent to a child.
Fran Gardiner’s father Kenneth died from the condition in 2009 and the 57-year-old has two sisters who have also been diagnosed.
‘Families depend on charity’s support’
Symptoms include a loss of control over movement reducing ability to walk, talk and swallow while it can also cause serious mental illness including depression and dementia.
Mrs Gardiner nominated the Moray branch of the Scottish Huntington’s Association as Johnstons’ charity of the year after being supported by the group.
She said: “Families depend on the Moray branch, it’s good to meet people who are going through the same challenges.
“There’s no stigma and we talk about things with people who really understand.
“We moan, complain and support one another. Everyone understands that some of us need to relieve the tension and talking helps.”
The charity had been chosen as Johnstons’ chosen charity for 2020 before the mill continued the cause into this year after fundraising events were affected by the pandemic.
Staff have already raised £3,500 through initiatives including selling special scarves in the Elgin shop.
Lee Johnstone, head of fundraising at the Scottish Huntington’s Association, said: “As a small charity that is focused on delivering high quality care for families in communities all over Scotland, we are grateful to everyone who has invited their employers and staff to support our work by raising funds and awareness about Huntington’s disease.”