Ten-year-old Whitelees Primary pupil Ben McCabe thoroughly enjoys playing bowls at Abronhill, having started last year. And now the members have raised £200 to support a cause very close to Ben’s heart.
In 2011, when Ben was four, he was severely burned in his chest and arms due to a freak fireworks accident. He has endured nine surgical procedures since then with more to come. His scars still require massage and regular treatment.
The Scottish Burned Children’s Club has been a great source of support in the years since the accident. It is staffed entirely by volunteers, including the McCabe family, and sees families of burn survivor children provide each other emotional support, advice and fun events such as trips around Scotland and get-togethers.
Ben’s mum, Amy, is a nurse who treated Ben when his accident happened. She said: “The club provides tremendous emotional and physical support and allows children to meet others who have had similar experiences. We were referred to the charity and it has made a big difference to our lives ever since.
“We’re very grateful to Abronhill Bowling Club for donating this money. Ben has played bowls for about a year now. He loves it.”
The McCabes are active volunteers in the charity. Today Amy is their family liaison officer and both Ben and his brother Luke help educate school pupils on firework safety. Ben has also fronted publicity campaigns for the charity.
Former firefighter Mark Stevenson, who is the chairman of The Scottish Burned Children’s Club, added: “Every penny that is donated to our charity goes direct to the children as we are an entirely volunteer organisation. The money will help us organise trips to the likes of Blair Drummond, Edinburgh Zoo or Edinburgh Castle, and we also run our rehab survivor camp.
“Most of our volunteers have backgrounds in the likes of healthcare or the emergency services, as well as first hand experience of what families go through with burn survivors.”
The charity has been running for 16 years and currently works with around 50 children. You can learn more on their website at http://theburnsclub.org.uk/