N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness News Bulletins May 2003

May News Index April News Index

Caithness.org News Index

Front Page Archives

Walking Index      

Highland Cross 2003 Coast To Coast Duathalon
Highland Cross, the unique coast to coast charity duathlon has announced that 660 folk have once again taken up the its challenge to cross Scotland in a day and raise money for charity!

The event consists of a 20 mile walk/jog/run from sea level at Morvich, Kintail on the West Coast crossing over the 1000 foot high pass behind the Five Sisters of Kintail to Glen Affric in the middle of the Highlands. At Glen Affric each participant collects their bicycle and rides the 30 miles to Beauly on the East Coast. The most athletic entrants attempt to challenge the crossing record of 3 hours 13 minutes and 31 seconds set by New Zealand athlete Dr Keith Murray or the female record of 3 hours 51 minutes and 29 seconds set by Ginny Pollard. Less athletic folk take up to the full 9 hours available to complete the event.

The event has a restricted entry of 220 teams, each consisting of three participants teams. The event was once again hugely oversubscribed.

Organising Secretary and co founder, Calum Munro, stated:
“This is the hardest part of organising the event! With so many great folk wanting to take part and contribute to the charities it is amazingly difficult to ensure that all the deserving teams get a place. Undoubtedly their will be disappointed folk but we hope that they will understand that for safety and logistical reasons we must restrict the numbers.

The teams cover a huge range of people from class athletes to folk out to finish the day without any thought for time! Some of the participants have been in every Cross since 1983.

The huge band of volunteers who come together to stage the event are gearing up to ensure that the 2003 event is as safe and successful as possible. Without the tremendous support given by individuals, organisations and businesses from across the Highlands the event could not take place. All these folk are committed to making the Cross happen and raise funds for charities aiding folk in the north. The £1.6 million raised for charity since 1983 is testament to the commitment and generosity of folk associated with the Cross”

Event Treasurer John Fraser announced the three principal charities nominated for this year:
“ After a detailed and difficult selection process Highland Cross are delighted to announce that Maggie’s Highland Cancer care centre being built at Raigmore, SNAP special needs children’s charity vehicle appeal and Highland Disability Sport vehicle appeal will be the three principal charities nominated for funds this year.

The participants in Highland Cross have a tremendous fundraising record and we hope that they will honour their team pledge to raise a minimum of £300 per team. Whilst last year participants broke all fundraising records with the tremendous total of £140 800! However, we take nothing for granted and simply appeal to everybody to do their best and raise as much as they can to recognise the unique challenge they have set themselves and support these tremendous causes.”

Dr David Whillis, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Raigmore Hospital, a member of Maggie’s Highlands Board of Directors says;

I am delighted that Maggie’s Highland has been given nominated charity status for this years Highland Cross, a local event run and managed by local people for the benefit of the people of the Highlands. It means that the money raised by local people will be helping to furnish and equip their own Cancer Caring Centre which will be there as a haven for them and their families and friends in years to come.”

Jerry Francis, Chairman of SNAP

“ SNAP are absolutely delighted to have been accepted as a nominated charity for the 2003 Highland Cross. Having previously benefited as a nominated charity in 1997 we are consciously aware and appreciative of the enormous amount of work involved in staging the Cross and in the commitment of those taking part and their sponsors. During 2003 SNAP are wishing to fundraise for the purchase of a new 17 seat Minibus, the adoption by Highland Cross will be a massive boost to this project. To all those involved in the Highland Cross may I on behalf of SNAP say a heartfelt thank you!‘

Councillor Janet Home JP MBE Chairperson of Highland Disability Sport stated that she was “Delighted that contribution of disabled sport to the community was being recognised and supported by Highland Cross. Funds from Highland Cross are intended to go towards a new minibus as the present one has seen better days and is starting to cost money to run.”

Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, Brigade Engineer Murray MacKay was ” very pleased to hear that Highland Disability Sport are a major beneficiary of this year’s Highland Cross”. With an association of 20 years the Brigade have been largely responsible for the safekeeping of the group’s minibus, by allowing Highland Disability Sport to keep it locked in the workshop premises at Harbour Road.

For further information on Highland Cross please contact:
Calum Munro on 01463 220496 [Home with answerphone] or 01463 227000 [Work, Fire Brigade HQ] or email calummunro@btinternet.com

John Fraser on 07729 892702 or e mail info@highlandcross.co.uk

Background information on Special Needs Action Project - SNAP

Special Needs Action Project was established in 1995 and has grown to become one of the main Out of School Care Service providers in the Inverness area for children/young people (aged 5-19) who have special needs. Currently there are 70 children/young people who participate in SNAP’s activities.

SNAP is a charitable voluntary sector organisation offering a range of ‘play and leisure’ Services. These include: After School Clubs, School Holiday Leisure Schemes and Saturday outings to places of interest and recreation in the Community.

All the children/young people who attend SNAP have a variety of special needs and attend school out with their local community. SNAP offers the important opportunity for the children to socialise with their peers, access ‘mainstream’ activities, help develop their independence, and essentially to take time away from their families. Above all SNAP is a place of fun!

For the parents and families of children/young people SNAP offers a form of respite from their caring role in the knowledge that their child is in a safe and happy environment.

Core funding for SNAP’s activities is partly provided by Highland Council and NHS Highland but as with many voluntary sector organisations in the field of special needs, great reliance is placed upon donations and fundraising.

SNAP has its own 14 seater minibus that was kindly donated by the Highland Cross in 1997. This minibus, ‘SNAPPIE’ is now an essential requirement for the transportation of children to and from home and school, as well as enabling SNAP to offer its wide range of Services throughout the area.

In the light of the increased demand for SNAP’s Services and the need to increase the minibus seating to 17, SNAP now wish to purchase a new minibus and are delighted to have been selected as a nominated charity for the 2003 Highland Cross in support of this major fundraising project.

For further information contact:
MAIRI BEATON on 01463 792839

Background information on Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre for the Highlands

Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust (MKJCCCT) has been asked by the Highland Health Board to establish a Maggie’s Centre to serve the Highlands of Scotland. Plans are underway to build a new centre in the grounds of Raigmore Hospital, Inverness opposite the hospital’s Oncology unit.

The new Maggie’s Highlands, as it will be known, will cost over £1million to build with running costs of around £200,000 per annum. We have been very fortunate to receive an award of £550,000 from the New Opportunities Fund towards the establishment of the centre. The award is a three-year contribution towards capital and running costs.

Maggie’s Centres offer a separate environment to address the information and support needs for each patient and their family and this will complement the medical provision at Raigmore, ensuring all patients benefit from the very best holistic treatment.

Up to 1300 people from our widely dispersed Highland and Island communities are diagnosed with cancer each year at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. At any time approximately 6000 of the population in the Highlands and their families live with cancer. Moreover, consultants at Raigmore expect to see the number of new cases increase by 40% over the next 10 years due to local demographic changes.

With 1 in 3 of us expected to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives, each of us may welcome information and support from Maggie’s Highlands in the future, either as a patient, family member or friend.

For more information contact Anne Melia, Fundraiser Maggie’s Highlands Tel: 01463-250137 Fax: 01463-250184
Email: anne.maggies.centre@ed.ac.uk

Highland Disability Sport

Highland Disability Sport (HDS) is the branch member of Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) and was formed in 1982. Its main role is to promote, foster and develop sport or leisure activities in the Highlands for all disabled or handicapped persons and encourage them to participate as well as integrate with able-bodied clubs.

It organises various local annual sports events and co-ordinates participation in National Competitions.

In the past some of the Sportspeople have represented Scotland in National competitions and some have represented Great Britain in International Events such as The Paralympics Games and have won medals.

For further information contact:
Councillor Janet Home JP MBE on 01463 232262


Charlie Forbes on 01463 232262 or Charlie.Forbes@highland.gov.uk