A LOCAL businessman has donated £2,000 to Parkinson’s UK which has been largely inspired by his wife’s diagnosis.

For many years, raising funds for worthwhile causes has been a key feature of Stephen Dumigan, the owner of the Bangor and Newtownards-based men’s fashion store Focus Menswear. His recent support for Parkinson’s UK came after his wife, Helen, was diagnosed with the early stages of the condition in August 2017.

The charity prides itself on supporting those living with the condition and funds research for cures. Though Focus Menswear has been a stalwart supporter of a number of charities for over 30 years, including Chest Heart and Stroke and the NI Children to Lapland Trust, this particular charity has become close to the local man’s heart since Helen’s diagnosis.

During July and August, Stephen could be frequently found selling t-shirts, Yankee Candles and goodies at Bangor Abbey car boot sale and Bangor market. These markets made up a large portion of the £2,000.

Reflecting on his most recent fundraising during the summer, Stephen expressed his appreciation for the donations offered by two businesses. Offering t-shirts for him to sell was Belfast-based clothing, embroidery and printing company, Garment Graphic, while the Yankee Candles were courtesy of the Donaghadee branch of Creative Gardens.

The Focus Menswear owner’s efforts concluded with Walk for Parkinson’s, an event hosted by Parkinson’s UK in Belfast on September 24.

“Focus Menswear has been supporting Parkinson’s research for about eight years,” said Stephen, who explained that Helen was diagnosed with the illness after seeking medical advice as she was feeling ‘out of sorts’.

“We are dealing with it day by day,” he said. “It is a pretty bad disease but you just have to get on with it.”

Since the diagnosis, Focus Menswear has been concentrating on helping Parkinson’s UK, explained Stephen.

“Focus Menswear has been in business for 40 years and we have supported loads of charities over those 40 years, but obviously when it comes close to home, you like to support that particular charity,” he continued.

As a board member of Bangor Chamber of Commerce, Stephen was overjoyed to discover that at this year’s Bangor Business Awards, the organisation would be supporting Parkinson’s UK.

“It was one of the other board members who suggested we should support them this year, and I am obviously delighted with that,” he said.

“There are a lot of good charities out there and over the years the board has supported lots of them, but it is nice that they decided to support Parkinsons UK this year.”

More information about the charity can be found at https://www.parkinsons.org.uk.