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Friends of the Neuro Ward launch virtual dog walk challenge

Caroline Critchlow, chairwoman of Friends of the Neuro Ward.

A charity benefiting Orkney neurology patients is encouraging people to get 2021 off to a “paws-itive” start by taking part in a virtual dog walk between Aberdeen and Orkney.

Friends of the Neuro Ward is running Paws Across Scotland throughout January, with the aim of clocking up 255.3 dog-walking miles, the equivalent distance between Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Orphir.

The idea is for folk across to take to their local part of the route for their daily constitutional.

The route has been carefully chosen to take in the wide area that patients come from to receive treatment in the neuro wards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Woodend Hospital. It takes in Aberdeen, Huntly, Elgin, Inverness, Dingwall and Wick, John O’Groats and Orkney.

At the forefront of this campaign is Friends of the Neuro Ward’s chairwoman, Caroline Critchlow from Orphir.

She knows only too well how far patients must travel to receive treatment, as her husband Kevin was rushed from their home in Orphir to ARI with a brain tumour in 2013.

Mrs Critchlow, who is looking forward to taking part with her Romanian rescue dog Lara, said: “Large numbers of people travel to the Neuro Ward in Aberdeen every year for treatment and after-care.

“It covers an area of 16,000 sq miles and a population of more than 850,000 people.

“We hope that our virtual dog walk will appeal to people from across the region and raise vital funds to ensure we can keep supporting patients at ARI and the rehab unit at Woodend Hospital.

“Whether you have a four-legged friend, have promised yourself you’ll get fit this year, or just need something to focus on during the latest phase of the coronavirus restrictions, we hope you’ll join us for Paws Across Scotland.”

Friends of the Neuro Ward has suggested a donation of £10 per individual, or £20 per household taking part.

To find out more, you can visit www.fotnw.org/paws-across-scotland