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Community / New all-terrain wheelchair for Michaelswood

From left to right: Lennox Jarrett, Betty Ferrie, Karla Nicolson, Ray Ferrie, Shaun Lockrie. Photo: SIC

PUPILS at Aith Junior High School have handed over an all-terrain wheelchair to owners of local woodland Michaelswood.

The £4,500 all-terrain wheelchair has been funded through a £3,000 grant from the Youth Philanthropy Initiative Scotland (YPI) plus £1,500 raised by local girl Karla Nicolson, who previously hurt her ankle in the woods which saw her rescued in a wheelbarrow.

The choice of Michaelswood for the YPI grant was supported by secondary pupils in the school, championed by S4 students Lennox Jarrett, Noah Hobbin and Shaun Lochrie.

The YPI programme sees funds distributed from the Wood Foundation, though a programme of research and competition in schools to enable grants to be made to local charitable organisations.

Karla Nicolson generated her £1,500 through selling a recipe book called Lockdown Cakes and Bakes, which she produced when recovering from her accident.

The funding has allowed local charity Ability Shetland to purchase an all-terrain wheelchair for use at Michaelswood, and it was handed over today (Friday).

This will improve access to the trails and viewpoints throughout the woodland, which is a popular attraction with adults and children throughout the year.

Michaelswood was developed in memory of Michael Ferrie, a young musician from Aith, who died in 1996 from cancer aged 21 years.

Aith Junior High School headteacher Michael Spence said: “We’re really pleased to be able to see this all-terrain wheelchair given to Michaelswood, which will provide better access to the wonderful woodlands for anyone with mobility needs.

“We’re grateful for the YPI Scotland grant which our pupils chose to put towards this, and which, along with Karla’s tremendous fundraising effort, has allowed us to raise the total for the wheelchair. Michaelswood is a great asset to the local community, developed over many years by Ray and Betty Ferrie, and we’re all keen to support it.”