Viewpark student scales new heights in aid of St Andrew’s Hospice

Debbie Green from Viewpark reaches the summit of Ben Nevis in aid of St Andrew's Hospice
Debbie Green from Viewpark reaches the summit of Ben Nevis in aid of St Andrew's Hospice

A student from New College Lanarkshire has climbed Ben Nevis in memory of her mum.

Debbie Green from Viewpark scaled the UK’s highest peak as the pinnacle of her fundraising activities for St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie.

The 24-year-old, together with her friend, Caitlyn McKeown, raised £2,091.70 for the hospice.

St Andrew’s Hospice cared for Debbie’s mum, Marie, for three months before she lost her battle with cancer in August 2017.

The care that she received inspired Debbie and Caitlyn to organise a fundraising event at the Thorniewood social club, don Santa suits for the Santa Dash at Strathclyde Park, and regularly carry out bag-packing at local supermarkets.

Debbie said: “The hospice staff were amazing, so that’s why I want to give something back.

“Fundraising makes me feel like I’m doing something productive for a very worthwhile cause.”

Debbie is studying HNC Beauty Therapy at the college’s Motherwell Campus, having first enrolled in a Pathways to Advanced Beauty Care course in January 2017, leading to her completing NQ Advanced Beauty Practitioner last summer.

She has overcome great personal tragedy to study at the college, having also lost her older sister, Charlene, who was her only sibling, and her father, Patrick, also within the last four years.

Debbie added: “College has been really good for me. It has given me something to focus on. It’s definitely been a wee safe place. The lecturers have been amazing and my friends are definitely what keep me going, I’ve got good friends.”

Having worked in retail after leaving school, Debbie was persuaded by her friends to return to education and pursue her passion for beauty.

In June 2018, she was one of 16 Hairdressing and Beauty students chosen to spend two weeks training in Murcia as part of an Erasmus+ exchange programme.

Debbie, who also teaches dance with MoveIt Dance Academy in Viewpark, said: “I feel like I should have done this years ago. My friends have always said that I should do it as a career but I just thought it was more of a hobby.

“Then I realised that it’s silly not to, because it’s something that I enjoy.

“The experience of being in Murcia has made me feel like I’d like to work abroad for a few years, and then I could come back and open my own beauty salon.”

St Andrew’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for up to 30 in-patients with life-limiting illnesses, a range of out-patient services, and support for families.

Andrew Flynn, the hospice’s community development coordinator, said: “Debbie has been an incredible supporter of the hospice and we would like to thank her for just being herself and being brilliant.

“One of the best things about people who fundraise is that they inspire others to get involved; and it is clear that Debbie is an inspiration who puts the needs of others first.

“It is because of people like her that we are able to raise £88,000 every week to provide specialised palliative care and end of life care to the people of Lanarkshire.”