by Kate Foster

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

05 SEP FORTH WALKA group of intrepid walkers have braved the elements on Scotland’s Forth Road Bridge to raise money for a local care home.

Fiona Miller, Resource Manager at Grants Bank care home in Dunfermline, and 11 others battled hail and howling winds to complete four crossings of the iconic bridge.

The money will go to the activity fund at nearby Grants Bank, a care home run by Bield, Scotland’s leading provider of housing and care for older people.

Fiona said: “We thought the bridge walk would be a challenging and memorable event. We aimed to do four crossings, walking a total of six miles, and we completed the challenge despite the changeable weather.

“The first two crossings were fine but then one of our group received a call to say a shower was heading our way. By the time it arrived it was torrential hail stones and howling winds but we battled on.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a keen walker but every summer we try to do something that will top up the funds for the winter months, especially for the festive season.

“Our group was made up of staff from the home and the daughters of our residents Myra Macphail and Avril Salt. One of our care givers, Nicola Kirk took her daughters, Bethany and Lauren who went across twice with one of the girls on her bike.”

The team know all too well the impact fundraising can have at the home so they take full advantage of the warmer weather to top up the activity fund, something that ensures money is available later in the year for social occasions.

Fiona added: “For outings, hiring an adapted bus can cost anywhere from £100 to £300, plus the cost of the driver. Add to that the staff requirements and it becomes an expensive business.

“We always have a Christmas party but it is nice to also be able to take the residents out to a show or pay for entertainment to come to us.

“Hopefully the final total will be close to £900 so this will make a huge difference when it comes to arranging our social occasions.

“It’s all about giving people a level of normality that they would have enjoyed whilst living independently.

The team are already thinking about next year’s fundraising event and have plans for a coastal walk, hopefully with better weather.

Kevin Rowe, Bield’s Fundraising Manager, said: “The group had a tough time with the weather but it is a testament to their steely determination that they continued regardless.

“It’s inspiring to have our care givers, family and friends get involved in the fundraising efforts that are so important to the life of our care homes.

“I have recently completed a fundraising walk myself so I’m all too aware of the time, effort and planning that goes into the challenge. For that we are grateful to have such dedicated staff.”

Brian Logan, Bield’s Chief Executive added: “These challenges are never easy and no one wants to be on the Forth Road Bridge when the weather turns as it did for our group.

“Fundraisers play a valuable role within Bield and their generosity enables our services to go the extra mile.”

“For that reason we hope more people get involved, allowing us to provide life-enhancing services that encapsulate our ‘Free to Be’ philosophy, such as outings and social activities so those in our care can continue to live life to the full.”

Bield is Scotland’s leading provider of housing, care and community services for older people.

The registered charity which has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness in 1971, to becoming a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authority areas.

Private: Kate Foster

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