Ciara follows in mum’s footsteps to raise cash for audio books

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Peebles schoolgirl Ciara Quinn is taking the plunge on Monday, July 24, to support a community-wide bid to fund more audio-books for the blind.

The seven-year-old has pledged to swim seven lengths of the pool at Peebles Hydro for seven consecutive days over the summer holidays.

And she is asking people in the town to keep the lucky-seven theme going by sponsoring her for any amount as long as it has a seven in the figure –ie 7p, 77p, £7.77.

Ciara said: “I love swimming, so I thought I would do this to raise money for audio books.

“My mum Linda, who’s an optician, spent a day wearing special glasses that simulated sight loss and also organised a special afternoon tea for this, so I wanted to do something, too.”

Bethany Bland, leisure club manager at Peebles Hydro, said: “We were delighted to meet Ciara when we heard about the challenge she’s set herself. The staff presented her with a bag of swimming goodies to welcome her to the pool.”

Ciara also is inviting others in Peebles to do similar challenges based on their age.

Cycle, walk, read, or bake ... it doesn’t matter, as long as friends, colleagues or family have fun and add to the town’s already remarkable drive to help sight loss charity RNIB.

This year, Peebles became the first town in the UK to sponsor ‘talking books’ as a community. Local businesses, community groups and schools have raised more than £9,800 to date.

Angela Preston, fundraising manager for RNIB Scotland, applauded Ciara’s commitment.

She said: “It’s really great that Ciara is stepping up to this challenge in her summer holidays, and we hope she will inspire even more people in Peebles to take part in this town’s truly amazing efforts in support of RNIB ‘talking books’.

“It costs up to £2,500 to professionally narrate and record a ‘talking book’. So we absolutely rely on the support of the public to ensure people with sight loss of all ages have a chance to read the same books that the rest of us enjoy.”