Welcome to the David Gemmell Living Memorial Fund (DGLMF)

March 17, 2010 5 comments
Fr David Gemmell

Fr David Gemmell




 Thanks to the remarkable generosity of your support, the DGLMF has closed, in Oct 2011, at an amazing total of


The Fund has been spectacularly successful in achieving its twin objectives: providing start up funding to secure the future of the new L’Arche community at Nyahururu, in Kenya, and laying the foundation for L’Arche Edinburgh’s own fourth house appeal.


When the DGLMF was launched in, March 2009, the dream of a new L’Arche home in Edinburgh, to be named in Fr David’s memory, seemed inspirational but distant, perhaps unattainable. Now there are grounds for real confidence that we will see it built. The success of the DGLMF and the wide community support it demonstrates, has given L’Arche Edinburgh the ideal platform for their “Coming of Age” fourth house appeal. General information about L’Arche Edinburgh, the new house appeal and progress in Kenya are all available at, www.larche-edinburgh.org.uk

 The October newsletter for L’Arche’s new house appeal writes:  

 “We are thrilled that HRH The Princess Royal has agreed to be our Royal appeal patron. Thank you, Your Royal Highness! She has encountered L’Arche before—here she is presenting a prize to one of our community members who regularly attends Riding for the Disabled at the Drum in Edinburgh. Two more wonderful people have agreed to be patrons of our appeal too, Sir Tom Farmer and Sally Magnusson. Thank you, Sir Tom and Sally!”

The three new patrons join the three patrons of the DGLMF: The Very Rev. Dr. Andrew McLellan, former Moderator, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien and the Rt. Rev Brian Smith, former Bishop of Edinburgh.


L’Arche estimate that their new house Fund already stands at about a quarter of their one million pound target. In addition they are in promising dialogue with some very significant potential donors. Most importantly they have achieved a major funding coupe in gaining support from the “BIG GIVE” charity. The details of how this works are given in the appeal from L’Arche below.


www.larche-edinburgh.org.uk Scottish Charity No. SC038493 Registered as a charity in England and Wales No. 264166 Company Limited by guarantee No.. 1055041

For more information please call Jane Salmonson on 0131 553 3478 or email jane.salmonson@larche.org.uk


We have successfully applied to the BIG GIVE, a charity which can DOUBLE your online donation to L’Arche Edinburgh.  The BIG GIVE uses money pledged by donors to L’Arche, and from its own “Sponsor Fund”, to match yours, pound for pound.


Mark 5th December in your diary, as the first day to make an online donation through the BIG GIVE. Find us on:  www.theBigGive.org.uk/project/larcheedinburgh Our pages on their site tell you all about our project. Then please give online as early as you can during “Christmas Challenge Week”, Monday 5th December to Friday 9th December.


Donations of any size are always welcome at any time.  BUT the only way to get the BIG GIVE to DOUBLE YOUR MONEY is to give online on Monday 5th December or one of the following four days that week.  The chance disappears on Friday 9th December.  So please give online, during these FIVE DAYS IN DECEMBER 2011.


To help build our badly needed new L’Arche home in Edinburgh for people with learning disabilities. 



The Ceilidh on Saturday, 18 June, was a joyous celebration of the wonderful success of the fundraising programme. Many splendid prizes were raffled or auctioned. Thanks to the many donors of these prizes, particularly to Garmin who donated a Forerunner 310XT stopwatch / heart rate monitor / GPS won by Alex McCallum. Most importantly thanks are due to our inumerable and wonderfully generous supporters and, particularly, to Bert Demarco for again making the Corn Exchange available to us. The total raised is about £170,000, an incredible figure.

There is a possibility that there will be a fundraising concert later this year, featuring a well known Scottish group, but the recent Ceilidh is otherwise our final fundraising event. L’Arche, Edinburgh, are continuing the fundraising with submissions to charitable trusts and other agencies. They remain optimistic that we will achieve our twin ambitions of making possible a new L’Arche home, in Edinburgh, to be named in Fr David’s memory, and enabling the new community in Kenya to be safely established. 


A group of about 20 from L’Arche and the DGLMF fundraising group, are going to France on Friday, 3 June, for a weekend Retreat with Jean Vanier, in Trosly-Breuil, where Jean founded the first L’Arche community in 1964. For all of us involved this promises to be a very wonderful and appropriate spiritual conclusion to our two years working together. 


The Fund has received a wonderful Christmas present in the form of an amazing donation of £50,000. Perhaps even more wonderful is the fact that this donation has been given anonymously. It is hard to convey adequately both our appreciation and admiration for this wonderful act of charity.

On 26 November, the pupils of St Thomas of Aquin’s High School, presented Gerry McPartlin, with a cheque for £1,350 for the Fund. This represents a phenomenal fundraising effort by the pupils, the highlight of which was a fashion show last winter. Many thanks to everybody involved. 

The total raised for Fr David’s Fund now stands at a staggering £163,000. The massive success of our fundraising efforts and the superb community support which it demonstrates, gives L’Arche the best possible case to make in the New Year when they will be seeking large donations from various charitable trusts. 


On Saturday, 11 December, some of the fundraising group had the pleasure of meeting with Dominik Karolak, leader of the L’Arche community at Nyahururu, in Kenya. Dominik thanked us for our support and gave us an illustrated talk about the wonderful work that the “DGLMF” is helping them to do. The stigma attached to learning disability in Africa is even greater than in the UK. They have been tackling this with considerable success, not least through their “come and see” programme whereby young folk are able to share life in the community. 


We are delighted to announce that the Right Reverend Brian Smith, Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh, has accepted our invitation to become a Patron of the David Gemmell Living Memorial Fund. Please click on the “PATRONS” tag to read a profile of Bishop Brian. 

Donation to L’Arche Overseas Development Fund

In April, the Steering Group was pleased to authorise the transfer of £20,000 from the fund raised so far to the L’Arche ODF. This money will be used, as planned, to support the new L’Arche community at Nyahururu, in Kenya. 

Gerry’s Munro Marathon Completed in Record Time

I started on Saturday, 10 April, on Ben Lomond and finished on Tuesday 6 July, on Ben Chonzie. The total time was 88 days well inside my “most optimistic” target of 99 days. More than 130 folk walked with me on 200 different Munros. The support was fantastic and I could not have found the motivation to get round in under 3 months without it. THANK YOU.

Thanks, also, to my many very generous sponsors. The total raised from all sources is now (27 August) around £30,000 and another £5,000 is “in the pipeline”. My next big challenge is to get my sponsorship up to the target of £50,000. To help with this challenge I plan a series of talks in the final quarter of the year. Hopefully the venues will include Wester Ross, Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. The Edinburgh Evening News has indicated that they will publicise the “lecture tour” details with a double page feature sometime in September.  

More information about the walk and a link to the STV news coverage can be found in the section “Gerry’s Munro Blog”.


Future Events

Please click on the “EVENTS” tag for information about forthcoming fundraising events and for details of

Gerry’s Munro Marathon “Lecture Tour”

Gerry will give a series of talks in Wester Ross, Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. The dates and venues for Edinburgh and Glasgow are given in the “EVENTS” section.  

Visit to Trosly

It is hoped that a small group of those involved with the Fund will be able to visit Jean Vanier at his home in Trosly, in France, over the weekend of 11-12 December. This has now been postponed till next Spring – details will follow once the dates are fixed.

Launch Ceilidh

The fund was officially launched at a packed Family Ceilidh on 20 March, 2010, at the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh. It was a wonderful evening that raised around £3,500 for the Fund which now (March, 2010) stands at nearly £35,000. We were delighted that many of Fr David’s family were able to be with us, including his mother, Josephine, and also many residents of the 2 L’Arche homes in Edinburgh.

Our Patron, the Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, spoke movingly about his love for both Jean Vanier and Fr David. John Redwood and Jane Salmonson, spoke on behalf of L’Arche about how much the Fund means to the Charity and how they feel privileged to have been chosen as beneficiaries.

We are deeply indebted to Bert Demarco for making the superb facilities of the Corn Exchange available to us without charge and similarly to Dave

Nettleship and his fellow musicians for their generosity and skill. 

DGLMF Newsletter 

If you would like to receive our newsletter by e mail please contact, angelamacleod@talktalk.net

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February 14, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized