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Scottish stars get ready to wow at Strictly Come Prancing

A host of inspiring dancers, including some famous Scottish faces, are getting ready to do their bit for cha-cha-charity by taking part in Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland)’s first ever Strictly Come Prancing event.

Saturday night fever is set to sweep through Glasgow’s Double Tree Hilton Hotel on 10 November, when 13 couples – including Heart Scotland radio presenters Paul Harper and Lynne Hoggan, as well as reality star Brian Matthews, formerly of GLOW – take to the dancefloor to try to impress head judge TV fashionista Gok Wan. The ‘How To Look Good Naked’ star will be joined on the judging panel by singing sensation Carol Laula, radio presenter James Smith and dancing instructor April Stuart Macrae.

To make sure they know their mambos from their rhumbas, the couples will prepare for their big night with 10 weeks of professional coaching at April’s Street Feet’s dancing studio.

Taking its lead from the hit BBC show, SBH Scotland’s Strictly Come Prancing distinguishes itself from similar events by opening up the contest to same sex couples. Encouraging inclusivity, the inaugural event will see three couples of the same sex competing for the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

All proceeds from the night will go to SBH Scotland and our services to support children, young people and families affected by lifelong disabilities spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Strictly Come Prancing competitor, and Heart radio host, Lynne Hoggan said; “I am really looking forward to taking part in this event, I guess every girl wants to dance like Baby from Dirty Dancing at some point in their life. Plus, it's a great new way to keep me in shape and I can't wait to get all glammed up for the big night.”

Richard Donald, events manager at SBH Scotland, said: “Strictly Come Prancing is not just about raising money for the charity, it’s about flying the flag for diversity and equality, as well as having a bit of fun.

“We’ve got a great line up, and it’s shaping up to be an incredible night. All 26 dancers have committed to putting themselves through 10 weeks of training to get in the best shape possible for the big night and they are all desperate to show off their moves to Gok, and the other judges.

“We look forward to seeing them take to the stage in November, and hope to see as many people in the crowd as possible.”

Tickets for the event are now on sale online at a cost of £65 per person, or £600 for a table of 10.

Clackmannanshire Mum Inspired by Daughter as she Tackles Charity Triathlon

Kirstie Dawson with Daughter Meggan

A Tullibody mum has followed in her daughter’s tracks when she tackled her first triathlon to raise funds for SBH Scotland.

Kirstie Dawson (45) took on the Stirling Super Sprint on June 3, a gruelling test of endurance that requires competitors to swim 400m, cycle 17km and then run for 3km whick she completed in an incredible 67 minutes and earning a new personal best in the 17km cycle.

Kirstie, who raised over £1000 for the charity, revealed her motivation for taking on the challenge comes from daughter, Meggan. The 25-year-old was born with spina bifida, a fault in the spinal column where vertebrae do not form completely, and has hydrocephalus - a condition where increased pressure on the brain can cause social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties - but that hasn’t deterred her from fulfilling her sporting ambitions.

The wheelchair racer, who competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and at one point held Scottish national records over eight separate distances, had been in training for this year’s London Marathon when she picked up pressure sores and is now taking time out to recover before taking on her next challenge. Mum Kirstie stepped in to ensure her daughter’s fundraising intentions wouldn’t be in vain.

She said: “Meggan was upset when she realised she wouldn’t be able to take part in the marathon as she had hoped to raise funds for SBH Scotland so I decided to take up the mantle. My friends persuaded me to sign up for my first triathlon so I’ve been hard in training for that. Meggan has been laughing at me looking totally exhausted as it’s usually the other way around!”

Training for the triathlon has made Kirstie even prouder of Meggan who, she reveals, has undergone more than ten operations to insert shunts which reduce swelling on the brain, and repeat bowel surgery without ever complaining.

Kirstie added: “I’m really proud of her. I’ve never met anyone so resilient and upbeat despite everything she’s been through. She jokes about the fact the operation scars on her tummy are in the shape of a giraffe!"

“She’s a true inspiration and always looking to help others. She recently had all her hair chopped off so she could donate it to a charity that helps children who have lost their hair because of leukemia and that’s just typical of her.”

SBH Scotland are in the process of creating a children’s book about Meggan to inspire other children with disabilities to never give up and not be afraid to try new things.

Her mum added: “The hardest thing for Meggan when she was growing up was that there weren’t many other kids with disabilities in our area."

“Then she was a teenager she went to a sports camp and got to meet kids like her who didn’t want their condition to define them. Hopefully this book will let other children with spina bifida or hydrocephalus realise they are not alone and that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”

"The services and support that SBHS have given us as a family is invaluable, i am in no doubt Meggan would not be the young, confidant young lady she is today without their drive to encourage and enable her to become the best version of herself"

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said: “Meggan’s story is truly inspirational and it’s great to see mum Kirstie getting involved now, too, in her own athletic endeavours. We wish her all the best for her triathlon."

“As a charity, we rely solely on the efforts of our supporters and because of people like Meggan and Kirstie we are able to offer a range of services from weekly support groups to tailored activities for children and young people and advice for families affected by the conditions."

You can help contribute to Kirstie's fundraising efforts.

For more information on services offered by SBH Scotland please contact us

Bearded heroes brave Ben Nevis ascent for SBH Scotland

Bearded Villains Team pose with charity banner

Climbing any mountain can have its hairy moments, but members of the Scottish chapter of the Bearded Villains have returned triumphant from tackling Ben Nevis in aid of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland).

The group of 13 walkers, raised more than £4,000 by scaling Scotland’s highest peak and the only close shaves they encountered were midgie bites and blisters!

Leading the charge was Kris Day (35), from Cardonald, who was inspired to organise the climb, as his daughter Rose (8) has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

He said; “We have a very big family network who help out a lot with her care, but we know the charity is always there for us if we need it.

“Having a child with a disability can be tough, and I know not everyone is as lucky as Rose. The charity gives amazing support to other families so we wanted to raise as much for them as we could.”

Kris has been a member of the Scottish chapter of the Bearded Villains – a brotherhood of bearded men dedicated to the betterment of mankind throughout charity and kindness - for almost a year, after managing to grow his beard past the required four centimetre mark.

He continued; “The Bearded Villains is a fraternity of bearded men from all over the world dedicated to the four pillars of loyalty, respect, charity and family.

“When deciding on fundraising pursuits, it’s usually for a cause which one of our members has a personal connection to, so I am delighted that we were able to do something for SBH Scotland. Standing at the summit, knowing the charity was benefiting from our efforts was an incredible feeling.

“We’re also committed to doing things for our local communities – like clearing paths in bad weather for people who can’t do it for themselves – we all have an obligation to look after each other.”

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said; “The team climbed upwards of 1,345m to reach the summit, and we could not be more grateful for their efforts.

“Without the dedication of our supporters, we wouldn’t be able to deliver vital services to those affected by the lifelong and complex conditions of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

“The Bearded Villains, are heroes in our eyes."

To donate to the Bearded Villains’ Ben Nevis climb, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bearded-villains-scotland

Global's Make Some Noise campaign donates £80,000 to SBH Scotland

SBH Scotland are delighted to announce that Global's Make Some Noise Campaign have generously donated £80,000 to our Be All You Can Be Project. We are truly overwhelmed and can't thank everyone who took part in the campaign enough for their amazing support.

The Be All You Can Be project was set up by SBH Scotland to promote independence in children, providing more intensive support through sensory play and finding innovative ways to make learning fun and accessible for each individual child affected by the conditions. Des Clarke, Amy Irons and Steven Wills from the Capital Scotland breakfast show all made a visit to one of the Be All You Can Be after school groups recently to share the great news.

Deborah Roe, Director of Fundraising for SBH Scotland said,

"Wow, we simply can’t thank Global’s Make Some Noise campaign enough! For over fifty years, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland) have offered a lifetime commitment of support to all those affected by the lifelong, complex disabilities of spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and we are almost solely self-funded. To provide our extensive levels of support and information each year we need to raise £1 million so every penny really does makes a difference. We are incredibly grateful to the Global Make Some Noise Campaign and all those who have taken the time to support it. This generous grant which will play a critical part in our early years work with children aged 0-11 across Scotland for the next two years through our Be All You Can Be project .

The grant will allow us to provide dedicated Early Years Support Workers who offer weekly one-to-one home, nursery, school and hospital support sessions as well as regular Be All You Can Be play groups and family support groups.

Thank you.”

Scottish Wit launched in time for World Book Day

Billy Connolly, Ewan McGregor and Lorraine Kelly are just some of the iconic Scots featuring in a new book of Scottish humour.

people reading Scottish Wit book

‘Scottish Wit’, written by author Aubrey Malone, includes a collection of quotes, jokes and pearls of wisdom from some of Scotland’s most well-known figures. From insights into parenthood, to quips about Scottish football and advice on love and marriage, the book is not only funny and insightful, it is raising funds for a very important cause.

Launching just ahead of World Book Day (Thursday 1 March) all proceeds from the sale of Scottish Wit will be donated to specialist charity Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland). Funds will be used specifically to help the charity provide personalised support to families across Scotland affected by complex and lifelong conditions of spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. Services provided by SBH Scotland include support groups, home visits by dedicated support workers, financial advice and a helpline.

Scottish Wit is the last instalment in a trilogy written by Aubrey Malone, which include the books Irish Wit and Welsh Wit. An author of 30 years, Malone compiled the entire collection using a traditional type-writer and without using the internet. He was inspired to raise funds for SBH Scotland after hearing of the daily struggles endured by a young pupil who has the conditions, from his wife, a teaching assistant in Ireland.

Aubrey Malone said; “Humour is a powerful tool and I wrote this book to give people a solace from everyday stresses. Scotland is renowned world-wide for its sense of humour and hopefully these one-liners will bring a smile to people’s faces.

“SBH Scotland does fantastic work, helping support those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus through every stage of their lives. Writing is my passion in life, and I am glad that I was able to give back to the organisation by simply doing what I love.”

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said; “We are hugely grateful to Aubrey for dedicating this book to our cause. Scotland has more live births per head of population with spina bifida than anywhere else in the UK and almost every week one pregnancy is affected by the complex conditions.

“We are always looking for new inventive ways to fundraise and we have a host of exciting activities planned for 2018, including our first trek through Peru, an abseil down the Northern Lights Tower in Aberdeen and a zip-line across the River Clyde. For those unable to take on the adrenaline fuelled challenges, Scottish Wit gives people another way to offer their support.”

Scottish Wit costs £9.99 and is available to purchase NOW online or by calling 03455 211 600.

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Our latest news

Scottish stars get ready to wow at Strictly Come Prancing
Strictly Come Prancing has launched - find out what our star couple are most excited about in our new film

Clackmannanshire Mum Inspired by Daughter as she Tackles Charity Triathlon
Congratulations to SBH Scotland board member Kirstie who raised over £1000 for SBH Scotland last week at the Stirling Super Sprint

SBH Scotland get invited to Dreamnight at the Zoo!
Blair Drummond Safari welcomed members of SBH Scotland for an exciting after-hours experience

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