Peebles schoolgirl Ciara takes the plunge in aid of RNIB Talking Books

Post date: 
Monday, 17 July 2017

Peebles schoolgirl Ciara Quinn is taking the plunge during her summer holidays 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, beginning on Monday.

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, such as 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 over £9,800 to date.

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

The RNIB 'talking books' library provides over 30,000 audio-books a year to adults and children with sight loss. The youngest reader is one year old and the oldest 104.

* To be part of the Peebles Community Talking Books drive, just choose what activity suits you and when and invite your friends to do the same. You can set up your own Just Giving page, or ask people to donate direct to Ciara’s swimming challenge.