Highland hike boost for inclusive playpark fund

The young Highland dancers who stepped out to boost the playpark campaign. Photograph: Kenny Craig.
The young Highland dancers who stepped out to boost the playpark campaign. Photograph: Kenny Craig.

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A campaign to make a Campbeltown playpark more inclusive is one step closer to its fundraising target thanks to a troupe of Highland dancers.

Inspired by the national Kiltwalk charity, the young dancers completed a sponsored five-kilometre walk across Campbeltown in their kilts on Sunday to help fund a piece of play equipment with straps on one side and a wheelchair accessible swing on the other.

The girls were in good spirits throughout the sponsored walk. Photograph: Kenny Craig.
The girls were in good spirits throughout the sponsored walk. Photograph: Kenny Craig.

It is to be installed in a vacant area at the council-owned Jock’s Adventure Playground, which currently has just one wheelchair accessible item.

The campaign was kickstarted by Campbeltown mum-of-two Iona MacLean whose daughter Esmie was one of the Highland dancers who took part.

The youngsters celebrated the completion of their walk by dancing a Highland fling for a crowd of supporters at the finish line in the Lorne and Lowland Church car park.

The dancers performed a Highland fling at the finish line. Photograph: Kenny Craig.
The dancers performed a Highland fling at the finish line. Photograph: Kenny Craig.

An incredible £1,427 was raised through sponsorship and a raffle organised by Highland dancing clothing brand The Highland Dancer, which also donated T-shirts for the girls to wear during the walk.

The dancers’ parents thanked The Highland Dancer for its support as well as Julie Blue for piping at the end, the Lorne and Lowland Church for allowing the girls to dance in its car park and Kenny Craig for taking photographs, as well as everyone who supported and cheered for the girls.

The estimated cost to buy and install the play equipment is £25,000.

Councillor Donald Kelly secured a pledge of £10,000 from wind energy company ScottishPower Renewables, dependent on the community being able to raise the remaining £15,000.

Including the money raised by the Highland dancers, an online fundraising page and other donations, the total raised so far is about £7,000.

This has been boosted by a further £2,500 from the Campbeltown Common Good Fund for which Catherine Dobbie applied on behalf of Campbeltown Community Council.

From left: Campbeltown Community Council chairman Alan Baker, mother-of-two Iona MacLean and Councillor Donald Kelly.
From left: Campbeltown Community Council chairman Alan Baker, mother-of-two Iona MacLean and Councillor Donald Kelly.

Councillor Kelly said: ‘The fundraising is going well and is testament to the hard work of both Iona and Catherine and to the generous support of the Campbeltown community.

‘Hopefully we will reach the £25,000 target in the not too distant future.’

Contributions can be donated straight to Iona using the following bank account details: Name: Mrs Iona-Marie MacLean; Account number: 10417961; Sort code: 80-45-68.

Alternatively, donations can be made via the campaign’s online fundraising page at gofundme.com/f/inclusive-swing-for-campbeltown-playpark