Rotary dinner a huge success

Invercarron Resource Centre
Invercarron Resource Centre

A Stonehaven ‘pay what you like’ charity event staged by the town’s rotary club has won better than expected support.

This means that around 14 people in Africa can now get the chance to learn to walk again.

The novel pay-what-you-like dinner was held in the town’s Invercarron Resource Centre on May 2.

This was in aid of the 500 Miles charity, set up by quadruple amputee and Edinburgh lawyer Olivia Giles to support the development and delivery of prosthetic and orthotic services in Malawi and Zambia and to an extent in Zanzibar.

The aim of the international charity is to help children and young people with impaired mobility to get moving, as well and as independently as possible, by helping them access prostheses and orthoses.

Prostheses are devices which replace missing body parts, whilst orthoses are devices, like splints, which support body parts which are weak or don’t function properly.

And rotary club social convenor Pauline Simpson said this week that because the dinner’s attendance had exceeded expectations, the event had been able to help more people than anticipated.

She said: “My aim was to get 50 people to attend, but in fact we got 70.

“A total of £2050 was raised at the dinner which was tremendous and because the charity will be able to claim gift aid on our donation, the sum raised should come up to £2500.

“This means that, based on the costs of helping each individual, we have now been able to give around 14 people the chance to start to learn to walk again.”

She added that they had been fortunate to have Olivia Giles at the event. She was working as a lawyer in 2002 when she caught meningococcal septicaemia.

“She was really inspiring at our event,” Pauline added. “And I would also like to say how grateful I am to the rotarians and people of Stonehaven who came along on the night and supported us so well.”

Meanwhile, the speaker at the last meeting of the rotary club was past president Gordon Ritchie who took members down memory lane with his account of how the transport scene has evolved in Stonehaven.

Mr Ritchie went back as far as the Defiant stagecoach which once served the town; recorded the coming of the railway in 1849 and also looked at the generations of buses which have vied for passengers.

When the Brickfield area of Stonehaven was developed, a town bus service was needed and one of the small buses to serve on the route, an Albion, ended up being sold to Stoke-on-Trent and was eventually preserved due to its rarity value.

Mr. Ritchie also included a look at transport in general in the town, including the old taxi rank in the Market Square, plus the variety of horse and cart deliveries that were once used by retailers in years gone by.

Vote of thanks was from past president Douglas Knox,

The club, who marked the Nepal disaster by having a soup and sandwich lunch, raised £350 from a separate collection at the meeting in aid of the earthquake crisis.

This is on top of £500 already sent out by the club a week ago to help with the transportation costs of water purification equipment to offset the effects of the disaster.