Kiltwalk is a unique charity that enables walkers to raise money for any Scottish charity of their choice. The Dundee Kiltwalk offers three routes of varying length so that people with different abilities can enter. Alongside other disabled members and able-bodied volunteers from her rambling association, Sharon will be entering the 7-mile ‘Wee Wander’ starting from TRB Urban Arts Space, Dundee Waterfront, and concluding at Blue Sea Playground Marine Drive, Monifieth.
As Sharon has severe walking difficulties due to her condition, she will be driving a TGA Breeze mobility scooter whilst collecting donations for her chosen charity. The Forth and Tay Disabled Ramblers is a user-led charity established in 2001 which organises accessible rambles for mobility scooter users. Its team of volunteers organise scooter loans, specialist transport and provide a range of pre-assessed trails that are safe and accessible.
Sharon has been a member of the Forth and Tay Disabled Ramblers for two years and always drives a TGA Breeze when exploring with the group. With the support of fellow riders and able-bodied volunteers she has been able to enjoy many beautiful locations including Glamis Castle, the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies. The association has an annual programme that includes day rambles to country parks, forests, canal tow paths, seaside promenades, national heritage sites and gardens.
These trips have made a significant difference to Sharon’s life as she explains: “Before my mobility became so restricted I was surrounded by people at work every day which I always enjoyed. However, as my condition has developed, especially after breaking my leg badly, I’ve had to take early retirement from public sector work and now tutor maths from home. I find my work with students really rewarding however this means I spend a lot of time on my own. Going out with the Ramblers is a vital social experience for me and something I can go and do independently without having to rely on friends or family for help.”
Sharon continues: “My rambling group own around 30 mobility scooters which we can borrow, I always chosen a TGA Breeze as it is stable and comfort off-road. I do have two TGA scooters of my own, a Vita and Eclipse, however I prefer to use their Breeze as I can drive to the events in my car without having to ask for help. By being on a scooter I can be ‘Sharon’ again and hope by raising funds and awareness on the Kiltwalk, other people in a similar situation can benefit from joining our rambling group.”
Sharon concludes: “Its only when you lose your independence that you fully appreciate how important it is. Being stuck in the house and not seeing people can get you down, whereas getting outdoors and being involved in a group activity is so rewarding. When you cannot do things on your own it is very frustrating – when I’m on a ramble I feel independent and free. We are really looking forward to the Kiltwalk as we have our tartan Tutus at the ready! Please donate to my Kiltwalk page so my rambling group can continue to help more disabled people enjoy the great outdoors, together.”
Donations can be made at: https://dundeekiltwalk2018.everydayhero.com/uk/sharon-11