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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.

Question of Burns raises record £57K

Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland) has raised £57,000, at its annual “A Question of Burns” supper.

Andy Nicol and Margo Whiteford CBE

More than 520 guests gathered to celebrate the life of the famous poet, making it one of the biggest Burns supper to have ever been delivered by the charity since the event launched 27 years ago.

Former Scottish international rugby player and TV sports presenter Andy Nicol hosted the evening at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel, where guests enjoyed poetry, a four-course meal, silent auction and a quiz on all things Rabbie Burns.

Stand-up comedian Bruce Fummey brought humour as he recited the popular Burns’ poem Tam o’ Shanter, while the Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen led a celebration of Burn’s enduring spirit by narrating the Immortal Memory. The evening concluded with an emotional performance of Burn’s Auld Lang by Glasgow-born soprano, Charlotte McKechnie.

Since its launch in 1990 SBH Scotland’s annual event, in honour of the Ayrshire bard, has raised over £1 million, which has been used to support thousands of families across Scotland affected by the lifelong disabilities of spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus.

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland, said: “We always look forward to ‘A Question of Burns,’ which continues to go from strength to strength in numbers and gives us the opportunity to welcome so many new faces. To sell out the event is a testament to the passion of all our fundraisers who work tirelessly to make the evening as special as possible.

“I would like to thank our headline sponsors, Chisholm Hunter, for their continued support and to all those who attended and donated to our charity. The proceeds will be used to provide a wide range of dedicated services across Scotland to children, young people and their families.”

One lucky guest walked away with a set of exquisite 18ct white gold and diamond flower cluster drop earrings worth £1,500, which were donated by headline sponsor Chisholm Hunter for the Grand Prize Draw. A luxury holiday to Sri Lanka, courtesy of Nisala and a £10,000 advertising package from Exterion Media, were also up for grabs in the auction.

Harry Brown, managing director at Chisholm Hunter, commented: “Chisholm Hunter has been proud to watch our relationship with SBH Scotland progress and develop over our 20 year association. Our pride and faith in this charity stems from the profound positive impact that it has directly on the lives of 3500 families affected by Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, or related conditions. We hope to continue to show the same commitment to Spina Bifida that they continuously demonstrate to each of their members”

To support SBH Scotland or to find out more about other events happening throughout the year, call 03455 211 600, email fundraising@sbhscotland.org.uk or visit www.sbhscotland.org.uk for more details.

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Our latest news

Clackmannanshire Mum Inspired by Daughter as she Tackles Charity Triathlon
Clackmannanshire Mum Inspired by Daughter as she Tackles Charity TriathlonCongratulations 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

Bearded heroes brave Ben Nevis ascent for SBH Scotland
Kris Day and his team of Bearded Villains took on highest peak, raising more than £4000

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