Going to great lengths

editorial image

Family and friends of a Stonehaven man who was paralysed after a car crash seven years ago have set themselves a charity swimming challenge.

Sam Dickinson was just 17 years old when the car that he and his family were travelling in was involved in an accident in December 2009.

Sam, who was in sixth year at Mackie Academy at the time, was left with paralysis affecting all four limbs after his neck was broken in the accident.

Seven years on, Sam’s mum, Sarah Dickinson has enlisted the help of over 30 friends and family to join her in swimming the equavalent of a Scottish loch in their local pool to raise money for the charity Spinal Research UK.

Sarah said: “Sam’s life was dramatically changed. However, whether it was irreversibly changed as far as the injury is concerned depends on the progress being made by those working in the field of spinal injury research. Funding this research depends entirely on donations as Spinal Research in the UK does not receive any government funding.

“There are thousands of lochs in Scotland so I have identified 24 varying in length from as little as 350m (14 lengths of a 25m pool) to 41km (1640 lengths). Those taking part are of all ages ranging from little Georgia Maclean (four and a half years old) up to those who have had their bus passes for at least a few years.

“Everyone has chosen their loch according to their ability and availability to swim between September 1 and October 31.”

Sarah added: “I am so grateful to everyone in the team for being willing to turn out not just once but repeatedly over these coming weeks to help me raise funds and make a difference for a charity that means so much to us as a family”.

You can support the Loch swimming team by going to www.justgiving.com/teams/we-are-swimming-a-loch-for-spinal-research