Friends united . . .

Dominic and mum Claire (left) with Stephanie and Bobath Scotland fundraising manager Clare Lappin.
Dominic and mum Claire (left) with Stephanie and Bobath Scotland fundraising manager Clare Lappin.

MEARNS Castle pupil Stephanie Bartley has been on her bike to raise money in aid of a good friend.

The 16-year-old had been fundraising for a World Challenge expedition to Peru — an organisation which takes high school students to other countries with the aim of teaching them life skills outside the classroom.

The parents and teachers of Katie and Friends celebrate a successful launch night in aid of young Katie Milliken

The parents and teachers of Katie and Friends celebrate a successful launch night in aid of young Katie Milliken

To raise the £5,000 needed before the trip in June 2012, Stephanie has so far held coffee mornings and completed a cycle from Newton Mearns to Inverness.

But when she reached £1,500, the fundraiser decided to give almost half of it away — in honour of close friend Dominic O’Neill.

A former classmate at Kirkhill primary school, Dominic was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, and has been helped throughout his life by Bobath Scotland.

Stephanie has now donated £750 to the charity, and will continue to raise funds for her trip on her own.

Martin O’Neill, Dominic’s dad, told The Extra: “Stephanie was the pupil who most helped Dominic feel included within the school.

“There has always been a special bond between the two of them. Because of this bond, and how she feels Dominic has influenced her life, she felt it necessary to donate half of the money raised to Bobath Scotland.

“This is a very selfless gesture, since she’ll have to redouble her efforts to reach her World Challenge target”.

The teen recently presented a cheque to Bobath Scotland, and was given a tour of the facilities as a thank you for her kind gesture.

Newton Mearns seems to be the place for charity, as fellow resident Patricia Tolland recently contacted The Extra to confirm a total after her involvement in a fundraising fashion show.

The 51-year-old mum was chosen to walk the catwalk in aid of Breast Cancer Care in September, having lived through the illness herself.

Patricia and her fellow survivor models raised £115,000 on the night, and she commented: “I truly felt like a star for the day. It’s a phenomenal amount of money”.

And over in Clarkston, the launch of Katie and Friends — in aid of young Katie Milliken — was a resounding success and raised the first £2,500 for the cause.

The charity, organised by a group of Carolside parents and teachers, is fundraising for four-year-old Katie, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year and faces cutting-edge therapy not available in the UK.

The group hope to raise £100,000 to fly the youngster to America for treatment and have raised a total of £32,000 since the launch in early November.

To find out more, or to donate, visit www.katieandfriends.org.uk.