Kiltwalk full of wonder for Hazel’s drive to raise cash for audio books

Hazel Kelly has gone on a wee wander – ­walking a six-mile circuit of Inverleith Park and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to raise funds for a local charity drive very close to her heart, Corstorphine Community Talking Books.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 6:06 am
Charity was sent a medal to present to Hazel

The Wee Wander is one of the options of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk, which takes place in the capital a week next Sunday.

Hazel, 75, can’t make that and missed last year’s one as well when she had to have an operation on her eye. She has experienced two degenerative ­corneal eye conditions which significantly affected her sight.

But she was so determined to do her bit the Kiltwalk organisers agreed to let her walk in advance.

Hazel said: “The Corstorphine Community Talking Books drive has already raised more than £6,000 towards new audio books for adults and children with sight loss.

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“I am partially sighted myself and I know the value of being able to read the same books as everyone else. So I really wanted to do the Edinburgh Kiltwalk wearing the colours of sight loss charity RNIB, which produces Talking Books.

“We’ve already been able to add two children’s and one adult book to the RNIB library and I want us to do more.”

Angela Preston, fundraising manager with RNIB Scotland, said: “Hazel was so disappointed not to be able to do the main Edinburgh Kiltwalk this year and last year that we got a special dispensation from the organisers.

“The Kiltwalk loved the fact that we are bringing the Wee Wander to Hazel and sent us a medal to present to her at the end. On the day of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk, itself, on 15 September, we have 55 people signed up to wear the RNIB team colours, 13 of whom will be doing The Mighty Stride option of 24 miles.

“It’s just wonderful to have so many people committed to ensuring that those who are blind or partially sighted can also enjoy the pleasure of a good book.”

The Wee Wander is far from Hazel’s only contribution to the Talking Books drive. Last year, she invited pupils at Corstorphine Primary School to vote for which children’s book should next be transcribed by RNIB. They chose The Phantom Lollipop Man by Dundee author Pamela Butchart.

The Corstorphine Community Talking Book drive also held a fundraising concert booked at the Old Parish Church in Corstorphine.

“We are very proud that Corstorphine has joined other communities across the country in raising funds for more ­Talking Books,” added Hazel. “These are lent out free by RNIB to anyone with sight loss. But because they are professionally narrated and recorded they cost up to £2,500 each to produce each adult title and up to £1,500 for a children’s one.

You can support Hazel’s Corstorphine Community Talking Books drive at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/corstorphinetbooks