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Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Markethill teen wins Young Fundraiser of the Year award

It’s been a huge year for Markethill’s Chloe Hawthorne – turning 18, completing her A-Levels and working two jobs –  but this amazing girl has still found time to raise huge funds for a charity close to her heart.

Over the past 12 months Chloe has led family and friends in raising over £16,000 for HDANI, the only charity in Northern Ireland that provides information, advice and support to people living with Huntington’s Disease. Her efforts were commended by the Institute of Fundraising who awarded her Young Fundraiser of the Year despite a very high calibre of entries at their awards ceremony in Riddel Hall, Belfast on 6th June.

All money raised by Chloe helps HDANI support over 500 patients, carers and family members impacted by Huntington’s Disease in Northern Ireland. A rare disease, HD causes gradual loss of control of thoughts, feelings, behaviour, movement, communication and swallow until patients become wholly dependent on care. There is currently no cure or any means of slowing the disease which affects men and women with symptoms usually starting to show from 35-50 years.

Chloe explained why she made such a tremendous effort to raise funds despite all the pressures she was under;

“My granny and my mum have Huntington’s disease and lots of other family members are affected. Mum is tired all the time and can have problems with her balance and her ability to do things we always took for granted.

Chloe with Claire McCollum (awards host) and Gillian Shields (Coca Cola – awards sponsor)

“Myself and my younger sister are at risk of inheriting HD too. Our family received such amazing help from the charity and I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that they have the funds to help other people like us, especially young people. It is really hard seeing a parent sick and knowing that they won’t get better and then knowing that you could be next so we rely on HDANI to connect us to other families and help us access support and information to deal with what lies ahead”.

The Institute of Fundraising supports organisations and individuals to ensure that fundraising practices are innovative, collaborative and in line with best practice. The annual awards recognise the best of the best in fundraising from across Northern Ireland.

Speaking after the awards, HDANI’s Chief Executive Sorcha McGuinness said:

“We are delighted that Chloe’s efforts have been recognised. She is such an inspiration to the other young people we work with. As a small charity it is easy to get over shadowed by the big household names when it comes to awards so this proves that you can make a huge impact regardless of the size of your team. We are grateful to everyone who gives their time and money to us and ensure it is used to help families dealing with HD.”

Chloe and her family are already planning their next event- a barn dance with Ritchie Remo on Saturday 9th Sept from 8.30pm at Speers Silo, Keady Rd, Armagh. Tickets £15.

For more information about HD visit www.hdani.org.uk