Keith Armour has a huge passion for sci-fi, fantasy movies and comic books and is one of the 150 diehard fans who make up costume and prop collective Rebel Legion UK.
The worldwide organisation is a volunteer group formed in 2000 to bring together Star Wars costuming enthusiasts and fans.
A key objective of the club is to give something back to the community through charity fundraising at the events they attend.
Keith has had an extremely difficult few years – losing a number of close family members, dealing with two redundancies and the prognosis that his daughter Leah, aged two, for whom he is the primary carer, has Type 1 diabetes.
The fundraising element and giving back to his community, became particularly important to Keith. So, he began to look at ways in which he could make a difference.
After a Rebel Legion-organised visit to Rachel House in Kinross, one of Children’s Hospice Association Scotland’s (CHAS) hospices, Keith was inspired by the families he met to begin fundraising for the charity, which provides support for children with life-shortening illnesses.
Keith, 41, of Livingston, decided to combine his passion for CHAS and the science fiction and fantasy genre by organising a not-for-profit sci-fi convention in Edinburgh, Capital Sci-Fi Con, the first of its kind.
Keith devotes all of his spare time to organising the event, which is now in its second year and taking place at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Stadium next month.
His enthusiasm for what he does is so inspiring and infectious that he has managed to gather a group of Capital Sci-Fi Con volunteers, who spend many of their weekends fundraising for CHAS in the community by visiting shopping centres dressed in full superhero and sci-fi costumes.
A key date in his calendar was visiting Rachel House at Christmas. Laura Campbell, Community Fundraiser for CHAS, said of the event: “Keith and the rest of the Capital Sci-Fi Con crew are an extraordinary group of fundraisers.
“Last year, Keith’s impressive efforts raised over £37,000 for CHAS. He hopes to top that by raising £50,000 by the end of this year.”
Keith thinks nothing of putting others first, saying: “I have been overwhelmed by how much people appreciate what I have been doing.
“When you are focused on doing things for others and dealing with day-to-day life, you don’t really stand back and take in what you have achieved – it just becomes the norm and something you love doing.”
This year’s Capital Sci-Fi Con event is being held on 18 and 19 February. It will showcase original film and TV memorabilia from movies and shows such as Dr Who and Star Wars. It includes live special effects presentations and retro gaming consoles.