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Kintore couple walking 1000 miles to support charity helping grandson


By Kyle Ritchie

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A Kintore couple are in the final stages of a 1000 miles walking challenge which is raising money for a charity that supports their grandson.

Alan and Sheila Williamson have been participating in the Charlie House 1000 Miles Challenge 2020.

They were inspired to take on the fundraiser after their grandson Dylan Whyte (3) was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and is assisted by the north-east charity.

It supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions.

Alan and Sheila Williamson.
Alan and Sheila Williamson.

Alan (64) said: "We were inspired to fundraise for Charlie House when our grandson Dylan was registered with them when we realised he was not developing as normal.

"Now at three and a half years old he has recently been diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disorder, Aicardi Goutieres Syndrome.

"It is a huge unknown what the future holds for Dylan and his parents.

"We soon realised there were many more children like Dylan with complex disabilities and illnesses in need of support in the local area."

Aicardi Goutieres Syndrome is a disorder that mainly affects the brain, the immune system, and the skin of young children. It can cause severe mental and physical disabilities.

Charlie House, like all charities, has seen its income drop by a huge amount due to the coronavirus pandemic and demand for its support has increased by 84 per cent in 2020.

Alan and Sheila (60) have raised around £1300 so far and are looking to complete the challenge this week.

Alan added: "We started our challenge to walk 1000 miles each in late January and will reach our target shortly.

"Our walks have been mainly local due to lockdown, so we have been round Kintore a lot of times.

Sheila Williamson at the halfway point of the challenge.
Sheila Williamson at the halfway point of the challenge.

"The challenge has been good to get us out of the home during a year of uncertainty.

"We are extremely grateful for donations and pledges we have received so far.

"During November and December we are going to match up to £500 any donations that are made."

Anyone who would like to donate to the cause can visit the couple's Just Giving page or sponsor forms are available by calling Alan on 07773890490.

They are running a competition at Christie’s Garden Centre in Fochabers, which people can enter to win a new Vauxhall Adam car.

A competition has been launched at Christies Garden Centre in Fochabers to win a new Vauxhall Adam car.
A competition has been launched at Christies Garden Centre in Fochabers to win a new Vauxhall Adam car.

Aberdeen and District Rotary Club is also running its annual raffle in the city's Bon Accord Centre to help the cause.

Alan said: "We are grateful for any support people can give, on behalf of all the children and their families who get help from Charlie House in the north-east of Scotland."

The money will help the charity continue to run its services.

A long-term project it is undertaking is to build an £8 million centre within Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen.

The eight-bedroom facility will provide a dedicated space and support for the children and their families.



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