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Jane Bateson raises £6262.36 for STARS charity via book swap collection at Forres Co-op


By Garry McCartney

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Jane ran a donation book stall in the Co-op to raise funds and awareness of the Syncope Trust And Reflex Anoxic Seizures charity.
Jane ran a donation book stall in the Co-op to raise funds and awareness of the Syncope Trust And Reflex Anoxic Seizures charity.

A FORRES woman raised more than £6000 for a charity that helped her when she was diagnosed with an unusual illness.

Jane Bateson was helped by the STARS (Syncope Trust and Reflex Anoxic Seizures) group after she found out she had dysautonomia, a rare condition that affects the heart and the nervous system, and leads to blackouts.

STARS was started in 1993 to ensure anyone with unexplained loss of consciousness receives the correct diagnosis, treatment, support and signposting.

In September 2017 Jane started fundraising for STARS via the Co-op on Forres High Street.

She said: “STARS founder Trudie Lobban’s late husband came from Buckie. He died unexpectedly from an undiagnosed heart condition, which is one of the reasons she set up the charity. Another was her young daughter who had seizures, which the doctors initially put down to breath-holding. However, a consultant in Glasgow diagnosed reflex anoxic seizures and suggested setting up a help group. Through discovering Trudie’s story, I was able to get help for my own condition via a specialist in London. STARS were of great help, now I help them.”

Jane ran a book swap at the Co-op, collecting unwanted hard and paperbacks from family and friends, placing them near the checkouts with a collection tin. Shoppers were encouraged to make a donation when they borrowed a book. The trust recently sent her a letter thanking her for the final sum of £6262.36 she raised for the charity.

Jenni Cozon of STARS patient services says Jane, the charity’s 2018 volunteer of the year, is “one of the best”.

Jenni said: “Jane works tirelessly to fundraise for us and to raise awareness of the charity. She campaigns for better recognition of syncope and postural tachycardia syndrome by the medical profession. Jane has been a friend of the trust for years, and the money she has been raising has been significant in maintaining our helpline. Without friends like Jane, STARS would not be able to provide the level of support and reassurance that so many need when struggling with these conditions.”

Jane took great comfort from her letter from the trust during the lockdown.

“It really cheered me up,” she said.

“A huge thanks to the Co-op and the people who supported me. The leaflets and books were appreciated by so many during this pandemic especially. Just popping into the Co-op gets lonely people through the day. The staff are so friendly, and were upset when I was asked to close down on February 5. My go- to phrase has always been, ‘We must kick on’, so I will find another way to help STARS.”


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