Shonagh aims high

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Shonagh Brown, of Durris, has set herself the challenge of raising £250,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation before she turns 50 in November this year.

Shonagh is aiming to do this through a series of events, culminating in the ‘Ugly Bug Ball’, a masked ball to be held in the Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen on November 4.

The fundraising kicked off last week as Shonagh opened her beautiful home, Strathieburn Castle, to around one hundred guests over three nights.

The guests were treated to a three course meal followed by traditional Scottish entertainment.

Shonagh spoke to the Piper about the ‘Come dine with us’ event at her home last week.

She said: “Last week was absolutely fantastic! It looks like we have raised between £4000 and £5000. We are still waiting on money coming in but it looks like we have got off to a great start.

“We received a tremendous amount of support from everyone and I suppose it is now a case of encouraging people to help by holding parties of their own.

“They can do this in a variety of ways. The most important thing is that everyone can socialise and have fun!”

Shonagh has personal reasons for trying to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as she lost her cousin through Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, life threatening condition where people diagnosed with it rely on numerous insulin injections or pump infusions every day, just to stay alive.

It is caused by the immune system attacking the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, meaning that the body cannot regulate blood-glucose levels on its own.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) exists to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications, and is the world’s leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research. Shonagh’s husband also encouraged her to try and raise money for the charity.

She said: “My husband has been playing an active part in organising a sponsored walk for the JDRF and I just thought I’d like to do something to raise awareness and also money for the organisation.

“Around twenty thousand children in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which is the fifth highest in the world.”

Shonagh wanted to do something special as she turns 50 towards the end of the year and is holding a series of events leading up to her birthday in November.

“After the success of the ‘Come dine with us’ nights we are now looking forward to ‘Come lunch with us’ at the end of April.

“In July we are holding a Harry Potter themed ‘Hogwarts day out’, which is going to be a lot of fun!

“I am hoping it will inspire everyone to see life through the eyes of a child.

“We are also holding a fashion show in September, before the ‘Ugly Bug Ball’ on November 4. Hopefully by then we will have raised the money we are pushing for!”

If anyone is interested in getting involved with any Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fundraising event you can phone Shonagh on 07967000073 or you can email her at