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Nine-mile charity effort from man in wheelchair boosts Move4Ward Physiotherapy

By Jonathan Clark

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A NINE-MILE charity effort from a wheelchair-bound Inverness man has boosted a local physiotherapist to the tune of £2545.

James Phimister (67) wheeled from Dallas Dhu Distillery to Edinkillie Hall in Moray, alongside friends, family and physiotherapists, to raise funds for Move4Ward Physiotherapy.

James Phimister (centre) is joined by (left to right) Move4Ward's Dave Powney, Alex Condron and Jude Simms.
James Phimister (centre) is joined by (left to right) Move4Ward's Dave Powney, Alex Condron and Jude Simms.

James has required use of a wheelchair for five years, since having a stroke, and has been attending Move4Ward, which has bases in Inverness and Elgin, for three years. He was also diagnosed with MS in 2000.

James, who lives at home with wife Doreen, remains as active as ever and was delighted to be able to raise money to help people who have helped him.

He said: "After all the work they put in for me, I wanted to give them something back.

"I did virtual Kiltwalks during Covid and now that isn't going ahead I thought I'd set up a challenge myself.

"Move4Ward are chuffed to bits. It will allow them to get some pieces of equipment that they were looking to purchase that were quite dear.

James Phimister (centre) raised £2545 for Move4Ward Physiotherapists in Elgin.
James Phimister (centre) raised £2545 for Move4Ward Physiotherapists in Elgin.

"It will not only help me but a lot of other people too."

James was a deerstalker by trade, for 20 years, before being paid off after his MS diagnosis.

His stroke in 2018 left him without the use of the left hand-side of his body – forcing permanent use of a wheelchair.

However, he hasn't lost his love for the outdoors and has a '4x4' wheelchair, with thicker wheels, that allowed him to undertake this challenge.

"Some parts of the trail were mucky, but I had good fun playing in the mud," he added. "I'm still like a boy.

"The support from everyone that came along made it more pleasurable – it's always better when other people are about to chat and have fun."

The nine-mile trail took James – and the nine others – around three hours to complete, with an afternoon tea awaiting them at Edinkillie Hall.

Proud wife Doreen added: "It was quite a challenge for James but with the helps of Move4Ward it was possible. He was delighted to raise £2500.

"Lots of local businesses have been good to him over the years, but people we didn't even know were giving donations. He was astounded with the amount of money raised."

Jude Simms, who is lead physiotherapist at Move4Ward in Elgin, said that a hoist has been bought with the money, which will help the hundreds of people that Move4Ward work with on a weekly basis.

"This bit of kit is going to help massively with so many patients," she said. "We have six or seven patients who are full-body hoisted at home.

"Their goals are to be able to do a standing transfer with this kit. We haven't had the kit to practice and now we can."

Patients who have MS can get free sessions with Move4Ward through MS Scotland. For more information, visit www.move4ward.co.uk

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