Dad zips across the Clyde for daughter Gemma

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A Motherwell dad zip-lined across the River Clyde from a dizzying 150ft to raise money for specialist charity Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland).

For Stuart Leckie, 45, it was a stunt he was glad to carry out because his own three-year-old daughter Gemma is an SBH sufferer, and he wants to do everything he can to help her and other children with the same condition.

Stuart and his friend Jim McGowan, 27, were part of Team SBH Scotland with over 100 fundraisers, including the charity’s members and their families, and were sponsored to “Glide the Clyde”, at speeds of up to 40 mph.

Their effort has raised more than £15,000 for the charity, and the cash will help to provide personalised home and hospital support for families in Scotland with children who have spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus.

Gemma has been a member of the charity since she was born, working with the team to improve her development and physical movement.

Stuart said: “At our 20 week scan we were sent home with a yellow post-it note with hydrocephalus written on it and a leaflet about termination. “With no information and so many questions, we went to see SBH Scotland the next day. The team were great and calmly talked us through the conditions and the possibilities.”

He added: “Gemma is now three, and benefits greatly from one to one support from the charity but it’s my wife and I who are really benefiting at this stage. SBH Scotland has been a real godsend to us and made a huge difference to our lives and Gemma’s.”

SBH Scotland was formed in 1965 by a group of parents who each had a child with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Fifty years later, the charity now supports over 3,500 children, young people, adults, their family members and carers across Scotland.

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland, said: “We’re so grateful to Stuart, Jim and this group of fundraisers for taking the leap of faith in our 50th year.

“Our charity continues to support all those affected by the lifelong, complex disabilities of spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and every year we have to raise £1million to fund the vital services we offer.

“Challenges like this are crucial to us providing services for another 50 years.”

SBH Scotland is celebrating its Golden Anniversary this year.

Anyone interested in helping raise money should visit www.sbhscotland.org.uk or contact the SBH Scotland Fundraising Team on 03455 211 600/email fundraising@sbhscotland.org.uk