Siblings diving with sharks for charity

Siblings Megan (8) and James (11) raised over �1000 for Deaf Children's Society. (Pic by George Mcluskie)
Siblings Megan (8) and James (11) raised over �1000 for Deaf Children's Society. (Pic by George Mcluskie)

Two Kennoway siblings have raised more than a thousand pounds for a charity which helps deaf children.

Megan Laird (8) and James Pattie (11) will swim with sharks at Deep Sea World on Sunday, and will be supporting a cause close to the family’s heart.

The pair have raised, at the time of writing, £1142 for the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) – a charity that has helped Megan.

“Megan has bilateral hearing loss to high frequency sounds – so she’s misheard a lot of words and sounds over the years,” explained mum Gemma Laird.

“I don’t know if it has gotten worse or maybe just become a bit more of an issue as she has gotten older.

“She’s now got a hearing aid – and that is quite a big adjustment for an eight-year-old. So we set out to meet other kids with hearing aids, which is how we became involved with the National Deaf Children’s Society.”

Megan has met a lot of other children in a similar situation through the Fife group, while the national group took her for a week-long break to Helensburgh.

“It’s been a great support network for Megan,” said Gemma.

“The support they give children is fantastic because it gives them the empowerment to go out there and own their deafness.

“This is what I’ve got but it’s not going to change my life.

“What they say is ‘this is not going to make a difference to her life’.”

Megan and James were already interested in doing the shark dive, but when asking if they could do it as part of their Christmas present, also asked if they could support a charity.

Gemma said she was proud of the pair for doing it for charity, and explained the reasoning behind it.

She said: “Megan’s thinking was it would be good to give a little back as well as taking out, when she takes parts in events and things.”

A Justgiving page was originally set up with the intention of raising £300 – a sum they have almost quadrupled.

Gemma says she was “amazed” by the response, and thanked Kennoway Primary School and Disability Sport Fife for their support.

Megan and James were allowed to run the school tuck shop for the day to raise funds, and collected around £192 through sales.

Gemma said: “The school have been fabulous. The teacher also does sign language with the class on a daily basis – just to encourage the class to accept Megan for who she is.”

And speaking of Disability Sport Fife, Gemma added: “They’ve been really supportive of Megan through her journey with hearing loss.”

If you would like to support the fundraiser, visit Justgiving and search for Megan and James.