Sanquhar dad raising funds to say thank you for family support

Sanquhar dad Shane Saunders is in training to run the Edinburgh marathon to raise funds for the service that has been supporting his son since he was three years old.

Shane and his wife Nicole praised the support they have received from Quarriers Dumfries and Galloway Family Support Service. Their son, Miller, 13, has complex needs including autism and global development delay.

Sanquhar dad raising funds to say thank you for family support

Shane said: “I am raising funds to say thank you for all the support that Miller has received. His support worker Lauren Elliot is affectionately called Miller’s other mum in this house. Miller wanted her to come on holiday with us, that’s how close the relationship is.

“She has been working with Miller since he was three years old. We have two other children, and having Lauren spend time with Miller for a few hours a week gave us quality time to spend with them, and also time for us to spend together.

“Now that Miller is older, she takes him out to do whatever he wants to do that day. That might be shopping or to McDonalds or they go swimming – he’s a great swimmer. She helps him build his life skills by being as independent as possible.”

Shane does not enjoy running, so signing up for a marathon seems an odd choice. “I am not a runner. But I never back down from a challenge. I’m training to be a Personal Trainer so going through this experience will be helpful to advise my clients in the future. I am doing a lot of gym work, building up my knee strength. I am fairly confident I will finish with a time of under four hours. When I’m set a challenge, I don’t give up.”

Mum Nicole added: “Shane wanted to raise funds for Quarriers because the service really means something to us. It’s such a worthwhile service and we want to give back for all the help and support we have received. It has allowed us time with the other children knowing that Miller is well looked after.”

Quarriers Family Support Service provides services for children, young people and families affected by disability throughout Dumfries and Galloway. With two bases in D&G and Stranraer, professional and helpful staff can offer short breaks for children, support for families, and a father’s project for dads and male carers of disabled children supported by the service.

Shane is hoping to raise £500 for the service, with the money going toward the service’s summer programme, where days out are organised for all the young people they support as a group.

Shane concluded: “Running a marathon might mean I’m in physical pain for a few hours, but that is nothing compared to the complexities that Miller faces and manages to cope with every day.”

You can help Shane reach his funding goal on 26th May by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Shane-Saunders

For more information about Quarriers Family Support Service, visit https://www.quarriers.org.uk/service/family-support/family-support-service/