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North-east dad takes on £15,000 zipline challenge for charity

James Ritchie from Peterhead.
James Ritchie from Peterhead.

A Buchan dad whose two-year-old son suffers from spina bifida has raised thousands of pounds by taking part in a plucky charity challenge.

James Ritchie zip-lined across the River Clyde and has today unveiled that charity Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus (SBH) Scotland will be £15,000 better off because of it.

The 33-year-old, from Peterhead, completed the challenge with more than 100 other fundraisers, including the charity’s staff and families.

The £15,000 they raised together will be used to provide personalised home and hospital support for children diagnosed with spina bifida or hydocephalus.

Mr Ritchie was first introduced to the charity after the birth of his son, James.

The youngster had to have a number of operations, including one to close a hole in his back.

Mr Ritchie said: “It was a big shock when James jun was born as we hadn’t suspected anything was wrong. Very quickly our life was turned upside down as we were thrown into an unfamiliar world of paediatric surgeons and healthcare specialists.

“Having the dedicated SBH Scotland support worker by our side was crucial, and helped make the experience much more manageable.

“James jun is now two, and despite the challenges he faces, he powers through it all and constantly exceeds expectations. SBH Scotland is a fantastic charity and their support means everything to me and my family.”

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland, added: “We’re so grateful to James and this group of fundraisers for taking the leap of faith in our 50th year.

“Our charity continues to support those affected by the lifelong, complex disabilities of spina bifida and hydrocephalus and every year we have to raise £1million to fund the vital services we offer.

“Challenges like this are crucial to us providing services for another 50 years.”

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