Carronshore community rallies round to help build Sara’s room

Family and friends fundraise for Sara
Family and friends fundraise for Sara
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Fundraising efforts on behalf of their daughter have amazed and delighted a local family.

Five-year-old Sara Penman has Joubert syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which means she needs 24-hour care.

A pupil at Kinnaird Primary School’s Thistle Wing, she is fed through a tube and has mobility problems.

The Penmans, from Carronshore, moved to a house with a downstairs bedroom for Sara as well as space for Jack (3), who attends Carronshore Nursery, but they needed to add a wetroom.

Mum Wendy, who works for Falkirk Council, explained: “Just now we are carrying Sara upstairs to the bathroom but she really needs facilities downstairs – I’ll not be able to carry her forever.

“We applied for a grant to build one and we were given 80 per cent of the money we needed but there was still a £4000 shortfall. We were pretty disappointed and thought it could take a long time for us to get the rest together.”

But once Gordon Smith and wife Katrien, who own The Victoria Inn in Carronshore, heard about Sara’s plight, they started a fundraising mission.

Gordon said: “I went to school with Sara’s dad, Scott, and I’ve known Wendy for about 25 years – they are a lovely family and Sara is a really cheeky wee character.

“Wendy told me about the wetroom and how they needed to find the rest themselves and I decided I had to help. I’ve got kids myself so I know you want only the best for them.”

The pub started fundraising in January with a Burns supper hosted by the Higginsneuk Burns Club and, by the time of their latest event, a Wild West day, they had surpassed the total needed, meaning work will start this summer.

Gordon continued: “The local community have been so generous. I thought it could take a year to get the money together but in six months we smashed the target and are sitting at £4400.

“I can’t thank the community and local businesses enough for all their help - but I’m not done yet, there are plenty more fundraisers planned for Sara.”