A BRAVE visually impaired teenager has received a prestigious scouting award after overcoming a difficult year battling a genetic disorder.
Robbie Dalgleish, of North Berwick, was presented with the medal for meritorious conduct by Chief Commissioner for Scouting Scotland, Graham Haddock, at the Royal Blind School on Friday. The award is issued for conduct involving “a high degree of courage, endurance, initiative or devotion to duty, often under suffering, without necessarily involving any element of risk”.
Robbie, a 15-year-old Royal Blind School student, has a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis type I and complications from his condition have meant that he is now mostly confined to a wheelchair. But that hasn’t stopped him attending weekly Scout sessions with the rest of the 77th Braid, where he has been awarded the Climber, Science and Fire Safety badges and he is working on the Creative Challenge Award.
Robbie’s mum, Pam Dalgleish, said she was “incredibly proud”’.
She said: “It came completely out of the blue that Robbie was getting the award. He has been a scout for a few years and he absolutely loves it.
“Robbie has had a difficult year and been in and out of hospital since June. But he is still really positive and enthusiastic and although I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet, I know this will mean a huge amount to him.”
Robbie has been a Scout for around four years and is a member of Kestrel Patrol. He has also been invited to the National Review of Queen’s Scouts at Windsor Castle in April – often attended by Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.
Pam added: “The troop is fantastic. In the past they’ve had visits to the climbing wall and Robbie has been particularly excited when they’ve had sessions with animals because he loves them. The school troop is perfect for Robbie because he has limited mobility so he might not be able to keep up with a regular troop and they choose activities that suit the needs of the children.”
The 77th Braid Scout group was restarted around four years ago to provide scouting opportunities for those with visual impairment and life-limiting conditions.
Michael Mair, Group Scout Leader of the 77th Braid, said: “We are incredibly proud of Robbie who has been part of the group since its inception, and of all he has achieved, particularly in the last few months.
“Robbie never backs down from a challenge and despite his illness has attended meetings with regularity and an attitude all Scouts hope to emulate.”