Come and join the fourth Peterhead Starlight Parade

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THIS year marks the fourth anniversary for the Starlight Parade in Peterhead, with the event continuing to go from strength to strength.

The event, which takes place on Saturday, July 23, is now a firm fixture on the North-east events calendar.

Inspired by local lad Dylan Forman (4), who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, the event annually sees hundreds of people parading through the streets of Peterhead during the Scottish Week celebrations.

Dylan and his family know only too well how important the support and advice provided by the Scottish Spina Bifida Association is.

Dylan’s grandmother Linda Mathers, says: “We will be raising money for the Scottish Spina Bifida Association again this year. It is such an important charity and its work is vital as one in 500 babies are diagnosed with either Spina Bifida and/or hydrocephalus every year in Scotland. I know only too well the statistics as I had both a son and grandson born with the condition.

“Despite being the only charity in Scotland that supports those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, the SSBA receives less than one percent government funding. In 2011, they need to raise nearly £1 million just to maintain their current level of family support services, support centre, training, projects and Helpline.

“To achieve this goal, the charity relies on fundraising within the community. Now, during this difficult economic climate, it needs your help more than ever.”

Joining the fundraising parade again this year is Karen King and her son Andrew (4), another child from Peterhead who was born with Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus.

Dylan and Andrew both met at nursery and have become firm friends, they both have very happy but determined characters, with smiles that can light up any room. Both boys are a true inspiration to friends and family and we hope that they can inspire you too!

For those that have not taken part previously, the Starlight Parade is a gentle 10k walk, it is suitable for all ages and abilities, so what’s stopping you? It is a great way to stay healthy while also raising vital funds for such a worthwhile cause.

Every year the charity needs to raise more than £1 million, so events like this are essential in helping them maintain their current level of services whilst providing innovative new projects across Scotland; such as the recently launched ‘S.E.A Change Project’ for children between the ages of 12 and 18 years with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.”

Lindsay Robertson, the charity’s fundraising and events manager for the North of Scotland, said: “We would like to encourage as many people as possible to support the Starlight Parade. SSBA is the only charity in Scotland dedicated to providing advice, advocacy and support for people born with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, yet we receive less than 4% government funding.”

If you would like to take part in the Starlight Parade simply pick up a registration form from any of the following businesses: CJ’s, DFS, Morrisons and the Scottish Week Office in Peterhead or register on the day at the Lido between 1pm and 3pm or 5pm and 7pm. You can also download forms from the Scottish Spina Bifida Association’s own website at

www.ssba.org.uk/starlightparade

If you are unable to take part in the Starlight Parade you can still make a donation directly to the Scottish Spina Bifida Association by calling 01236 794508 or logging onto their website www.ssba.org.uk