EXCITING new plans for a Milngavie respite centre for people with spinal injuries have been unveiled this week.
Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS) plans to convert a three-bedroom house they were bequeathed into a state-of-the-art facility for people who are recovering from spinal cord injuries.
They will work with architects, designers, planners, local authorities and wheelchair users to provide a showcase of a functioning living space for people who are recovering from this condition.
The 280-year-old house at Clober Farm was donated by Vivienne Donaldson four years ago as the cause was close to her heart - she was an occupational therapist at a spinal unit.
However it is going to cost £240,000 to carry out the conversion and that is why the co-ordinator of the project Shaun Dargan and Kenny Herriot, who is a member of Spinal Injuries Scotland and one of the world’s leading wheelchair athletes, decided to embark on an adventurous fundraising challenge.
Kenny was left paralysed from the waist down after a motorbike accident 11 years ago.
They set off on Monday to tour the length of Scotland, from Mull of Galloway to travel to Loch Ness, through John o’ Groats, Orkney and Shetland.
It will take them about eight days and they will be stopping off on the way to let people know why they are doing it and the importance of respite centres such as Clober Farm.
Kenny (49) has taken part in worldwide events before such as The Great Lemon Ride, a 4000-mile cycle from San Francisco to New York, and has been voted Aberdeen’s sportsman of the year three times.
He said: “When Spinal Injuries Scotland asked me to take part in this there is no way I could decline. The charity has been a great support to me and handcycling is a great way to see Scotland’s countryside. I’m just hoping that the weather goes easy on us.”
Meanwhile Shaun (30) admits he isn’t one of the world’s leading athletes. He says he is just a normal guy who cycles from time to time and loves a challenge.
He has a passion for making Clober Farm a centre of excellence and something that people could replicate in their own homes.
He said: “I’ve seen Kenny race and was really excited when I was given an opportunity to cycle with him. I have never taken on a challenge quite like this but I’m sure we will make a great team and get SIS’s message of education and awareness across Scotland.”
Donations can be made on the website www.justgiving.com/siscrosscountrycycle or you could donate £3 by texting the message SISC52 £3 to 70070.