Arthritis challenge is runaway success

Arthritis Research
Arthritis Research

A Borders charity is celebrating the success of its latest challenge, which it says is thanks to the support and generosity of Borderers.

The second October Borders Challenge, in aid of Arthritis Research UK, saw a 50 per cent increase in the funds raised in 2012. As a result, a cheque for almost £5,000 was presented to the charity by the Melrose branch, which organises the challenge, at a celebration event in Melrose Rugby Club on November 22.

A number of individuals and groups supported the venture by organising a variety of fundraising activities which, together, resulted in a total of £4,952.11 going to Arthritis Research UK.

And all of those who took part received certificates, presented by Donald Hunter from the 2013 October Borders Challenge sponsor, North East Mobility Ltd.

Chairman of the Melrose branch, Trefor Davies, presented the cheque to Arthritis Research UK regional fundraising manager, Catriona Connelly.

Throughout October, individuals and groups across the Borders “did something small to make a big difference”. They walked, ran, cycled, washed cars, held tea parties and coffee mornings, and played golf. The money raised from every activity contributed to the final total.

Arthritis sufferer Gill Caine from Burnmouth, who has had two total hip replacements, cycled from Dover to Cape Wrath.

During Friday’s celebration, Gill spoke about her experience with arthritis as well as her cycling achievements.

In 2009, cyclist Gill was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and was told she needed both hips replaced, which she had the following year. Four weeks after the second one, she got back on her precious bike.

As her 50th birthday approached, Gill decided to sign up to fulfil a long held ambition to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats. She covered 990 miles in 14 days to complete the ride. Within a week, she was on the internet looking for another challenge and decided to sign up for the Dover to Cape Wrath ride in July this year.

“During a check-up at the arthritis clinic at the Borders General Hospital, I told the consultant about my next epic challenge and she asked if I was doing it in aid of charity,” said Gill. “I thought ‘why not’?

“I didn’t have to spend much time thinking about which charity.”

Gill completed the Dover to Cape Wrath ride in 13 days, covering more than 995 miles.

Trefor Davies said: “On behalf of the branch, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the October Borders Challenge this year. What is even more encouraging is that the sum raised by the challenge is over and above the regular income from the branch. The committee members work very hard every year to put on events which are both enjoyable and profitable for the charity. We are most grateful to the branch committee for their continued support.”

Trefor also thanked North East Mobility for its sponsorship of this year’s challenge.

For more information about the Melrose branch or the October Challenge, please call 0845 602 3921 or email: