A HELENSBURGH family has donated more than £1,000 to an animal rescue centre after holding a special birthday party in the town last month.

Ann West’s daughter Martha, who is supported to live independently by Key Housing, held her 40th birthday bash at Helensburgh Parish Church on Saturday, April 27.

To mark the occasion, animal lover Martha wanted to give something back to her favourite charity, Glendrick Roost.

The welfare centre near Aberfoyle, run by Mione Morrison, takes in unwanted and neglected animals including Clydesdale horses, highland cows and disabled dogs, and has operated independently with a small team and limited budget since 2003.

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Around 70 people turned up to celebrate Martha’s milestone as £1,100 was raised for Glendrick and mum and dad, Ann and Dereck, said they were immensely proud of their “wee burd”.

“It’s quite amazing what Mione does and Glendrick is a worthwhile charity,” Ann said.

“Martha adores animals and it’s a much better way to recycle money.

“We wanted to support something different and close to her heart and she had a fabulous night. It was brilliant to raise so much.”

Guests on the night were entertained by a caricature artist as well as local DJ Stewart Maule who ensured the dancefloor was packed throughout the event.

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Afterwards Ann admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the total raised.

She said: “We were absolutely blown away and totally staggered. Everybody we’ve spoken to has been the same, it’s breathtaking.

“That money is going to make a massive difference. Nobody expected it and we were really thrilled.

“We had a really good night with family coming over from Australia.

“Martha just had a ball, she was never off the dancefloor!”

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Despite the success of the evening, Ann confessed she would have to think twice before arranging a similar night of fun in future.

“I’d never do it again,” she joked. “I made the mistake of organising hot food and it was a lot of work, and then we started to count the money which took forever. But it was all worth it.

“I didn’t want Martha’s whole life to be about disability. It’s nice to do something nice that she loved.

“I’d like to say a special thanks to those behind the scenes in the kitchen and indeed everyone who attended and donated making the event the success it was.”

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After receiving the cheque, Mione said: “We’re absolutely over the moon with the money raised and it will make a huge difference.

“We have 160 animals, 14 of them are special needs dogs, and the food and vet bills are a nightmare. We’re also in the middle of upgrading our roofing and decking, so the money will be used to finish that off.

“We weren’t expecting it. People have been really generous.”