Two disabled youngsters and local and national charities were among those who benefited from the annual cash windfalls gifted by the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal during a special presentation ceremony held in the Larachmhor in Pittenweem.
Several thousands pounds were handed over to the host of organisations and individuals by the charity, thanks to the success of a mammoth fundraising drive over the past 12 months, led by its co-ordinator Mrs Eleanor Bowman.
Cash awards of £500 each were made to Asbestos Action, Saline First Responders, DEBRA, East Neuk First Responders, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, East Neuk After School Club, the Bankie Park Development Fund in Anstruther, the Diabetic Endowment Fund at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, the Parkinson’s Disease Association, East Neuk Emergency Trust, the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association, the Fife Independent Disability Network and ENABLE.
Electrically powered wheelchairs were presented to four recipients, while awards of £1000 each were donated to the Ninewells Hospital Cancer Appeal Fund in Dundee, the Children’s Hospice Association at Rachel House, Kinross, and the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association, while £250 was gifted to each of the nursery schools in Anstruther, Crail, St Monans and Pittenweem.
Financial help was given to the family of a young girl from St Andrews who suffers from epilepsy to purchase a state-of-the art alarm system, and also to a severely disabled Crail girl to assist her family with the purchase of a specialised bed.
Mrs Bowman said that fundraising events ranged from coffee mornings, collection tins and events at her son, Alex’s pubs in Pittenweem and Elie, to collections at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, the proceeds of a demonstration by local baker and confectioner, Barnett’s, and a donation of more than £700 from the former Coastal Care group.
Another member of the Bowman family, daughter, Edith, the well-known television and radio presenter, took part in a celebrity edition of the popular TV programme, Pointless, and raised £500 for her chosen charity - the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal.
Mrs Bowman told the Citizen: ”The list is endless. It really is amazing and most heart warming to have so many people organise fundraising events in support of the charity and we thank them all.
“If people do know of someone who is in need of mobility or assistance of any kind please let us know. We can also make donations to nominated groups whether it be through supporting research or funding a particular project.”
Since its beginnings in 1989 when it was first launched as a one-off to help a young local man, the group has raised over £450,000 and donated more than 100 powered and 30 manual wheelchairs, along with donations of many tens of thousands of pounds to various local and national causes and helped improve the quality of life for many people.