Couple’s ‘wedding gift’ raises £5k for Liberian orphans

An Edinburgh couple have raised enough money to feed children at an orphanage. Picture; contributed
An Edinburgh couple have raised enough money to feed children at an orphanage. Picture; contributed
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TYING the knot is a pivotal moment for any couple – but the excitement of the big day wasn’t enough to stop one couple from thinking of others.

For instead of wedding gifts, Stockbridge newlyweds Amanda and Duncan MacInnes asked guests to make a 
donation to charity – and brought in just over £5000 in the process.

The money, which will go to the charity Mary’s Meals, is enough to provide a daily meal for 327 children at the Omega Orphanage school in Liberia for a whole school year.

Amanda said: “We thought it would be nice to do something that all our friends and family could join in with and make a difference. It was a nice way to share the love on our special day.

“I just love the fact that children are being fed in a place of education.

“Food and schooling seems like a given for us but when you start to think there are children around the world without these basic and fundamental needs being met, we had to do something.

“We honestly cannot think of a better gift than knowing that we are helping give children hope and reminding them that there are people across the world who care.”

The couple, who tied the knot at Blairquhan Castle in Ayrshire, met more than 13 years ago at Glasgow University where they both studied law.

Having remained friends throughout university, they met again in winter 2012 when they were commuting from Glasgow to Edinburgh for work.

They both got jobs in the Capital at a later date, with Amanda working as a lawyer and Duncan as a fund manager for Ruffer LLP.

Duncan explained their 50-strong wedding party had proved very supportive when it came to their charitable approach to getting hitched.

He said: “I think everyone was delighted at what a 
difference the donations would make. When they heard it would feed an entire school of children for a whole year they were quite taken aback.”

Amanda added: “We just felt that we should mark the occasion with something special.

“We loved Mary’s Meals and its goals so it seemed like a perfect time to raise money and awareness for the charity.”

Mary’s Meals currently provides 1,187,104 children with a daily meal every school day in the 12 countries it works.

Its Sponsor A School initiative provides supporters with annual updates on how the children at the school they have raised money for are progressing, as well as having words of their choice painted on a sign on the kitchen wall.

Amanda and Duncan’s sign at the Liberian orphanage reads: “Donated with love by the family and friends of Duncan and Amanda MacInnes on their wedding day. On our 
happiest day we thought of you.”

Hannah Stewart, head of fundraising at Mary’s Meals, said: “We are extremely grateful to Amanda and Duncan for choosing their special wedding day as a way to support children receiving Mary’s Meals.

“The wonderful ways in which people fundraise for Mary’s Meals never cease to amaze us.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk