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Inverness mum-of-two comes up with a novel way to raise cash for Eczema Outreach Support

By Ian Duncan

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Elizabeth MacKinnon with her children three-year-old Iris and six-year-old Franklin.
Elizabeth MacKinnon with her children three-year-old Iris and six-year-old Franklin.

An Inverness mum-of-two came up with a novel idea to raise funds for a Scottish health charity.

Elizabeth MacKinnon decided that she wanted to read more during 2020 and organised a sponsored read-a-thon for Eczema Outreach Support (EOS).

The bookworm, who is a member of EOS, promised to donate £5 for every book she read last year. She managed to complete 37 and husband Stuart matched each donation, so they gave a total of £370.

She said: “In retrospect, looking back at 2020, I chose the ideal challenge seeing as we were locked in for lots of the year.

“I decided I wanted to give back to EOS and thought this would also push me to read more throughout the year. I was an avid reader but having two little ones made it more difficult to find the time.

“Knowing the books would also result in a donation really spurred me on and I’m pleased with the total.”

She has been a member of EOS since 2019 because her daughter, three-year-old Iris, suffers from eczema which meant her skin was badly inflamed as an infant.

Elizabeth, who is also mum to six-year-old Franklin, said: “Iris was always scratching and in pain as an infant, she would wake up crying and unable to tell us she was sore.

“As a parent it was heartbreaking to see her in pain and we didn’t know much about the condition or how to manage it at first.

“We heard about EOS and signed up and I remember crying when we received the welcome pack.

“It just felt overwhelming to realise we weren’t alone and that there was help out there.

“I joined the Facebook group and it has been a great source of support. While Iris’s skin is manageable now, I like to check in and you see people where you were two years ago.

“You just want to give them a hug.”

EOS is a Scottish charity, founded by the mother of a young girl with severe eczema, that expanded to cover the whole of the UK in 2018.

It provides support and advice to more than 2000 families. Membership is free and the charity gives one-to-one support, holds events all over the country and aims to empower families to cope with the ups and downs of the condition.

Elizabeth said that Iris still scratches through the night, and gets dry patches under her eyes, but her skin is much better than before.

She can also tell her parents when she needs moisturiser or is sore.

“We found the support from EOS invaluable and wanted to give back so more families could benefit from the help,” Elizabeth added.

They plan to continue their fundraising efforts for EOS with another challenge so they can continue to help other families struggling with eczema.

• For more information and to join EOS for free visit here.

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