Kirkcaldy fitness instructor’s Purple Day fundraiser for epilepsy

Kirkcaldy fitness instructor Ben Smith  (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Kirkcaldy fitness instructor Ben Smith (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

A Kirkcaldy-based fitness instructor and personal trainer organised a Purple Day event and helped to raise £400 for a charity close to his heart.

Ben Smith, who works at Gym 64 on the town’s Esplanade, held the event at his workplace on March 26, which is known as Purple Day, when people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness.

The 27-year-old invited class regulars and members to wear purple and if they wanted, give a donation to Epilepsy Scotland. Ben, his girlfriend Caitlin and gym members also did homebaking to help boost the coffers.

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Ben said he could not believe the generosity of gym-goers when the cash was counted. He said: “I wanted everyone to come along to classes and wear purple and maybe donate £1.

“Everyone who did come along gave a donation and I couldn’t believe it when Caitlin counted the money and we had raised nearly £400. It was amazing!

“One of the gym members then gave me a donation to make the fundraising total up to £400.”

Ben, who has been a fitness instructor for three and a half years, after working as a chef for the previous six years, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2015. Since then he has been raising money for the charity and to date, he has collected an incredible £3053.

In 2017 he took part in various challenges to raise awareness of the condition including the Loch Leven Half Marathon, the Stirling and Edinburgh Marathons and local parkruns as well as Tough Mudder 13.1 miles, the Glenrothes 10k and the Black Rock 5 Race in Kinghorn.

During his worst period, Ben was having up to seven seizures a week and had to take time off work, but following a change in medication he has now been free of seizures for ten months.

He added: “I intend to keep fundraising and highlighting the condition because not everyone is aware of epilepsy. I want to show people that staying fit and healthy can make a difference.”