Coulters outdoor sale in Lanark
It is difficult to imagine the heartbreak that losing a child to cancer would cause.
Sadly, Janice and Bobby Coulter from Lanark don’t have to imagine – they know that pain only too well.
They lost their eldest son Robert to cancer on Christmas Eve 2010.
It was the cruellest of blows as the 31-year-old had so much to live for.
The day before, Robert married his childhood sweetheart Becky Lee, to whom he had two daughters – Emily and Abbey, just two years old and two months old respectively at the time.
Janice admits that she struggled to even get out of bed for the first 12 months. However, with Bobby’s support, that of their youngest son Ross (40) and her granddaughters, she started to emerge from the darkness.
Unfortunately, cancer was to take more of a toll on the family – Janice losing her niece, father and brother to the disease.
Having nursed her brother for five weeks on his return from Hong Kong six years ago, it was a particularly hard pill to swallow.
Janice explained: “He knew he didn’t have long so he came home to spend his last few weeks with me.
"After living in our house for 35 years, Bobby and I decided to move as there were just too many bad memories.”
However, the couple, who used to run a construction company in Lanark, didn’t move far – choosing to remain in their home town.
Around this time, Janice decided she wanted to do something to fight back against the disease that had wreaked such a huge toll.
She joined the local fundraising committee for Cancer Research UK, of which she is now vice chair.
While the last year has been a challenge for many, Janice decided not to let that stand in the way of the group’s fundraising.
In the last 12 months, she has raised an incredible £12,000 – with a helping hand from locals and her own delivery boy, Bobby!
Explaining how, she said: “We usually do a lot of fundraisers in the town, including two events at Prego, a golf day, raffles, quizzes and a table at the town’s FlowerFest.
"The pandemic meant none of these events could take place. So I started selling things on Facebook, initially our stuff – we downsized from a five to a two bedroom home so there was plenty!
"Then it took off, with people wanting to donate stuff as the charity shops were closed.
"We had all sorts donated, from tea sets to furniture. Luckily, Bobby had kept his van so he was the delivery boy! Ross also lent a hand.
"We had to tell the neighbours why all these people were coming to our door – but it was all done safely and socially distanced.”
By March, Janice had raised £10,000 and that has since risen to £12,000 but she refuses to take the credit.
She said: “I’d like to thank everyone who helped for their generosity – we couldn’t have done it without them.”
The Coulters are now hoping to clear the backlog with an outdoor sale at 24 Hyndford Road this Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
Janice added: “With charity shops reopening, we need to sell the stock and claim our livingroom back!”
"We’re hoping for good weather and would kindly ask people to park at the retail park.”