Two generations of Edinburgh family from Niddrie raise £10,000 for Parkinson’s UK

Relatives determined to push themselves to the limit and raise a significant amount in memory of late Jimmy Neri

Two generations of the Neri family from Niddrie have completed a series of challenges as part of a year-long push to raise £10,000 for Parkinson’s UK.

Mountains, hills and distance proved no obstacle for the children and grandchildren of the late Jimmy Neri, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016 and sadly passed away in 2021.

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Starting with a small amount raised through a collection at Jimmy’s funeral, which was held under Covid-19 restrictions, his relatives determined to push themselves to the limit and raise a significant amount in his memory to support the work of Parkinson’s UK in Scotland.

The Neri family at the summit of Ben Nevis.The Neri family at the summit of Ben Nevis.
The Neri family at the summit of Ben Nevis.

“We decided we wanted to increase the amount we raised in memory of our dad and began talking about different activities, like a sponsored walk, and somewhere along the way we began talking about Ben Nevis,” explained Jimmy’s daughter, Carla McDonald.

“Eventually we came up with the idea of a charity night at the Jewel Miners Club, where my dad was a member for 50 years, so at the beginning of this year we booked that to take place in September.”

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However, in the run up to the charity night, the wider family undertook a series of physical challenges to boost the total raised for Parkinson’s UK.

Jimmy’s grandsons, Harvey (11) and James (8) decided they wanted to be involved and set themselves the task of climbing four of the Pentland Hills. James and Harvey collected sponsorship money and, when they scaled the hills in July this year, raised an impressive £700.

Having earlier discussed the idea and encouraged by the example of James and Harvey, some of the older members of the family then decided to mark the first anniversary of Jimmy’s passing by climbing Ben Nevis.

Carla, sister Maria Neri, cousin Nicola Melvin and friends Nicole Morgan, Tori Morgan and Kerry McCulloch raised £2000 when, on 30th July 2022, they took on the highest mountain in Scotland.

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“It was so hard, with torrential rain from morning to night,” recalled Carla.

It took us about eight hours and was hard going, but absolutely worth it with the amount we raised.”

Nicola and Kerry, after scaling Ben Nevis, later completed a triathlon to add to the fundraising goal and more money was raised through a series of bonus ball draws, hosted on Facebook, where prizes on offer included a signed Hibs strip and a spa day at MacDonald House.

Even more great prizes were secured for the charity night, which took place at the Jewel Miners Club on 3rd September 2022.

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Lots donated for auction on the evening included two pairs of signed boxing gloves, one from light-welterweight world champion Josh Taylor and another from world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, which between them raised £1000.

Further lots were keenly bid on, which, added to entrance fees and a raffle held on the night, combined with amounts raised through the climbs, race and bonus balls earlier in the year, got the Neri family to the grand total of £10,000 raised for Parkinson’s UK.

“Everybody has been so generous and without the community in Niddrie, all the people who knew my dad and know the wider family, we could never have done this,” continued Carla.

“If my dad could have seen everything we did and the amount we raised, he would have been as proud as punch. It gave us a focus, after losing him, he was such a big character. He would have been so proud of us and the community that supported us as well.”

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Last month, family members got together to present a cheque for £10,000 to James Jopling, Scotland Director for Parkinson’s UK.

“I was delighted to meet with the Neri family, who have done an incredible job over the last year, raising funds in so many different ways to support Parkinson’s UK.

“Thanks to their efforts and all the people who kindly supported the family, we are able to continue funding research into better treatments and push for the right level of support for people with Parkinson’s.”

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, with some 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK, around 12,000 of which are in Scotland.

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Parkinson’s UK funds research into the most promising treatments and helps people with the condition and their carers live better with Parkinson’s.

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