East Neuk group in the driving seat for Ritchie

Ritchie with his mum and dad, Moira and David (picture by Dave Scott)
Ritchie with his mum and dad, Moira and David (picture by Dave Scott)

The East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal, one of the best-known charity fund-raising groups in the area, has helped transform the life of a north east Fife youngster.

The local campaigners have helped raise funds to buy a specially-adapted new purpose-built powered wheelchair for seven-year-old Ritchie Horrocks, from Craigrothie.

Since birth, Ritchie has had achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism, and used a number of mobility aids over the years.

However, this new chair can be raised or lowered in height and has independent suspension and four-wheel drive, enabling Ritchie to gain access to many more places, join in more activities and interact more easily with teachers, family and friends.

The East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal began in 1989 and has since raised over £500,000 to buy powered wheelchairs, scooters and manual chairs for people with a range of mobility needs, as well as helping other worthy causes.

Ritchie’s chair cost nearly £20,000 and Eleanor Bowman MBE, from the group, said members were very grateful to secure extra funding from the Keepers of the Green charity, which does similar work, and the Mary Leishman Foundation, to help buy it.

“It would not have been possible to do this on our own,” she added.

Ritchie’s dad David said the family was tremendously grateful for the support.