Fiddlers’ album raises thousands for charity

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Two members of Bearsden Fiddlers have helped raise more than £3,000 after producing a CD for a charity close to their hearts.

Piano and guitarist Allan MacDougall (63) teamed up with 23-year-old fiddle player Amy Lewis to record and sell their latest compilation of songs with help from other members of the group.

Amy was born with a cleft lip and palate and has undergone numerous operations, so it was decided to raise money for the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA).

Allan said: “This is our seventh CD and we have so far managed to raise £3,500. All the proceeds will go to the Cleft Lip and Palate Association.”

He added: “Amy was born with a severe cleft lip and palate and in her 23 years has undergone numerous surgical procedures, often painful and uncomfortable, but she has never complained and has always come up smiling. She is an outstanding Scottish Fiddler, having studied at the (then) Junior RSAMD.”

Amy overcome many hardships and is now deputy leader of Bearsden Fiddlers. Allan is the accompanist and deputy conductor.

Allan continued: “I first met Amy about 12 years ago when I was working at Castlehead High School in Paisley, where Amy was a pupil. Since then, we have produced many CDs together, all of which have raised money for various charities.”

In total the pair have raised over £12,000 for different charities and Allan joked: “We are great pals, although she gives me a hard time about my age.”

Amy has not let her condition hold her back. She is now a nurse, but still finds the time to perform together and to work on CDs.

All the proceeds of this latest CD will go towards the Smile Train - a charity in which medical teams, including the surgeon who has performed many of Amy’s operations, travel to Third World countries to carry out procedures to rectify cleft lips and palates.

Amy was asked by her surgeons to make a brief video about her experiences growing up with a cleft lip and palate, as well as her thoughts on what might further be done to help people in similar situations.

To look at this moving video go to You Tube and type in Amy Lewis: Living With a Cleft Lip & Palate.

Both Amy and Allan will be present their cheque to a CLAPA volunteer at Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie on September 6 at 4.15pm. It will take place in the theatre.