19th September 2018
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Sandy set to go ‘aroond in circles’ for fundraiser

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He has already been behind a host of fundraising adventures on the mainland, but Sandy Peterson will be staying closer to home when he takes on his latest mad-cap adventure in aid of Disability Shetland.

But the walk will come as the charity faces continued uncertainty over its future because of a shortfall in funding.

Sandy raised cash this year when he completed the West Highland Way. He now aims to walk a five mile circuit round Lerwick – at least four times.

The 73-year-old has set himself a £2,000 target for the walk, which will take place on Saturday 29th October.

He has praised people for their generosity, and insisted the charity would probably no longer exist if it were not for the willingness among people to donate.

Sandy plans to begin his first circuit at 9am, followed by others at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

His route will start at the Market Cross, before going past the Lodberrie to the Knab, along the shore to Clickimin, up Staney Hill, down the Old North Road and back to the Market Cross.

Sandy has become something of a fundraising regular for his favoured charity. Speaking to this newspaper, he said he was looking forward to the challenge – although he ruefully noted his route would take him past the Gilbert Bain Hospital, as well as the grave yard.

“The last few things we’ve done have tended to be outside of Shetland,” he said.

“We did the West Highland Way, then we had friends Iain Robinson and his son Ben who climbed Kilimanjaro in August, and Wilma Sim, one of our trustees, did the Glasgow half marathon.”

This time he will be joined for parts of the route by children from the Disability Shetland Saturday Club, together with their leaders and volunteers.

“The good thing about doing it on a Saturday is we will be able to connect with the Saturday Club. I’m hoping the bairns will be able to take part.”

It is major fundraising events such as this which provide Disability Shetland with much of the money it needs to survive.

Sandy says the charity, which has recently been let down by major funding operators like the lottery fund and Children in Need, only has sufficient funds to see it possibly through to the beginning of the next financial year.

“We probably have enough money to last us into the New Year and maybe to the beginning of the next financial year, but beyond that we don’t ken what’s happening.”

He says the greatest support from outside the isles has actually come from the Scottish government.

Sandy says he enjoys walking, although he admits struggling to keep up with his wife when out for a stroll.

“I ken I can do one circuit or two, the third one will be hard and on the fourth one I’ll be just keeping it going, because I’ll be embarrassed if I don’t do what I set out to do.

“My route goes past the hospital, which might be quite handy, although it also goes past the grave yard.”

Joking apart, Sandy says he has seen firsthand the value parents of children with disabilities see in the charity.

“I’ve just finished doing a holiday club today, and I can see the appreciation parents have for it,” he said.

“It’s the folk we work for – the folk we are concerned about – and that’s how it should be.”

He praised people’s generosity, and stressed they had always been willing to dig deep to help the charity.

“The Shetland public have been terrific. If it were not for the Shetland public, the charity would probably not be going now.

“I feel guilty about continuing to ask them for help, but they don’t seem to mind.”

Anyone wanting to join Sandy on the day can just turn up at the Market Cross, be checked in and have their laps counted and lap times recorded. If they want, they can get sponsor forms from Market House or by contacting him on 01806 577 321 or peterson@skelberry.shetland.co.uk

• To donate to Sandy’s fundraiser visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/disability-shetland/circles

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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