Despite never stepping foot in a kayak until a few months ago, Jamie and his friend John Paul McDermott are preparing to tackle freezing temperatures, 30ft waterfalls, dangerous currents and lethal rocks in an effort to raise enough funds to help prevent The Hope group, a support unit for parents with autistic children, from shutting down.
Hope was set up as a registered charity in 2002 by mothers whose children were diagnosed as having autism and who could not find local help. They set up a Parents and Carers’ Support Group and soon after, evening activities for children such as a trampoline club, youth groups, swimming and outings. They also provide evening groups for the children and one-to-one support, free training, social nights and parents’ group meetings.
Jamie’s nephew, Matthew was diagnosed with autism from a young age and the Hope Group has provided a great deal of support to Jamie’s sister Sharon and her husband.
Jamie said, “As soon as my sister told me that that the Hope Group was suffering from a lack of funding and that they faced the real possibility of closure, I approached Hilton in the Community Foundation at Hilton Glasgow about making the Hope Group the hotel’s chosen charity, and they agreed immediately,”
“John Paul and I have been training 2-3 times a week for 4 hours at a time, often in freezing conditions. A few sessions have been cut short due to the threat of hypothermia. We’ve came along way since we started learning the basics in the swimming pool at Hilton Glasgow and each training session has been a learning curve. I’m constantly finding out more about how the rivers, currents, weirs and waterfalls all work.”
He continued, “I had never even tried kayaking before we started our training. However I love the outdoors and I remember visiting Glen Etive ten years ago and thinking how much I would love to take it on. I now have a great reason to try and conquer it and raise as much money as possible for a cause that is close to my heart.”
To contribute Jamie’s effort and help raise funds for the Hope Group please visit: thttp://www.justgiving.com/Jamie-Wilson-hopegroup