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Alison bravely steps out for Uganda

By Fiona Reid
Alison bravely steps out for Uganda

JUST 12 months ago Alison Kirkwood was learning to walk again after knee surgery.

And now she is in training for a 100 mile charity walk.

Alison, from Moffat, will put aside her own aches and pains to tackle the West Highland Way next month with younger daughter Jenny.

They will be raising money for the Kitega Community Centre in Uganda, which supports children with disabilities.

The family has been involved with the centre for several years but covid has ‘severely curtailed’ their charitable efforts, so they hope next month’s epic walk will bring in more funds to go towards a new treatment room.

Training is well underway and Alison, who has suffered knee problems for 20 years, is determined to be on top form. She said: “I had my fifth knee surgery in Jan 2021 and had to learn to walk again for the third time in my life.

“Prior to surgery I could barely walk 100 steps so now I plan to walk 100 miles.”

She explained the work of the staff at Kitega is her inspiration, saying: “Throughout lockdown they have continued to work hard supporting not just the children with disabilities but the whole community, handing out much needed food parcels.

“Kitega Centre is currently involved in building a new health centre. Many people in Uganda do not have access to even basic health care. Too often, the lack of services added to the cost involved in travelling to hospitals, as well as the treatment itself, are huge barriers that can result in people struggling to cope with poorly controlled medical issues that can result in loss of income or even fatality.

“Our sponsor money will go towards helping to equip a treatment room at the new health centre – the West Highland Treatment Room.”

The mum and daughter have set up an online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/walktheway and are hoping to raise £1000.

Alison added: “The provision of health care is something that is all too often taken for granted but has such a huge impact on daily life for everyone.

“Please join us in trying to make health care just that little bit easier to access for the people of Kitega and surrounding communities .”

To follow the pair’s progess, see their Facebook page, Ally-and-Jen-Walk-the-Way. More details can be found about Kitega at www.kitegacc.org.

Alison is also available to give talks to local groups about the centre and their involvement.

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