Stonehaven woman nominated for award

Gillian Fowler has been nomiated for an award after recovering from a broken back
Picture by Michal Wachucik / Abermedia
Gillian Fowler has been nomiated for an award after recovering from a broken back Picture by Michal Wachucik / Abermedia

A Stonehaven woman has been nominated for an award for overcoming adversity after a horse-riding accident and setting up a business.

Gillian Fowler broke her back after a equestrian accident in 2008 and has since founded BackStrong Adventures.

BackStong Adventures is a company that specialises in outdoor adventures and activities in Scotland and abroad for anyone who loves a challenge, but especially for those who have experienced trauma, injury, loss, depression, disability, disease and other life-changing events.

Due to the work of the company, Gillian has been shortlisted for the 2016 Elevator Awards’ Spirit of Enterprise category.

Following a major operation in early 2014, Gillian realised that there was a small, but crucial change to her ability.

It gave her hope that she could regain her outdoor life and love of sports.

She said: “I realised that I would finally get back to enjoying the outdoors, so much so that I climbed Ben Nevis just four months later and never looked back.

“It was during this climb that I realised this is how I could help inspire and encourage others never to give up on hopes and dreams, despite perhaps a bleak outlook.

“My positivity, determination and goal setting was critical in such a long journey to recovery.”

And Gillian spoke about the work that has gone into setting up the business.

“It took a long time to choose key partners, especially a tour operator and guides which understood what we were trying to achieve and why,” she said. “All adventures have been carefully chosen so they can be adapted if required.

“I am only too aware of the physical limitations and obstacles of getting back to health, and attitudes surrounding disability, whether visible or invisible, prove an additional hurdle as you learn to adapt to a new way of life.”

The black tie awards ceremony will be hosted at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel on Thursday, June 30.