Grandmother on final leg of scooter challenge to tackle mental health stigma

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A 53-year-old grandmother is in her final week of a 500-mile Highland journey … on a scooter.

On April 25, Dinah Bosomworth set off from Vatersay on the human-powered vehicle she calls Nerys and began the gruelling challenge to raise funds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Travelling light and with only a small suitcase, water bottles and sleeping bag, the intrepid Dinah, who is from Ormsary in Argyll, landed on the Isle of Skye on Saturday in time for the Dunvegan 10K where she was awarded the privilege of handing out medals at the finish line.

So far her trip has taken her from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis (The Hebridean Way). From there she landed at Uig on Skye and stopped off in Dunvegan before travelling to Armadale where she hopped on the ferry to Mallaig and on to Kilchoan. The last leg of her journey involves a loop on Mull and then on to Oban and home.

Dinah is hoping her efforts will raise awareness of mental health issues in rural areas after a succession of ‘sad’ incidents affected her community.

She said: ‘Mental health problems affect everyone. We can all be fine today and then something happens, through no fault of your own, that changes your emotional state.

‘I want to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues, especially in rural areas, and let people know it is all right to talk about it.

‘SAMH is a fantastic charity that does really good work in breaking down the perceived barriers to mental health issues and a very worthy cause.’

Dinah got the idea for her challenge during a shopping trip for her grandson’s birthday.

She explained: ‘I really admire the staff of the MS Centre in Lochgilphead. They do a lot of good for people with long-term mental health conditions and I wanted to do something that would help with their work.

‘When I was buying a scooter for my grandson, the idea just came and here I am.

‘I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s proved to be quite challenging, but I’m determined to complete the 500 miles and in time.’

Dinah, a massage therapist, describes herself as ‘the slow orange person on a scooter.’

She is delighted with the support she has received from family, friends and strangers while she has been on the road.

‘Cars have stopped to give me money and, even before I started my journey, I had made over £2,800 for the charity. I hope to raise £3,500 in all, but the more the better.’

Dinah’s admits the journey has not been an easy one and has run the gauntlet of bad weather conditions and speeding drivers.

‘I’m very slow,’ she said, ‘so it’s not difficult to overtake me. So far, I’ve only been shouted at once. Someone overtook me and swore at me while he was passing. That was very upsetting because I try really hard to keep out of people’s way.’

Despite the weather, the roads and tiredness, Dinah is determined to complete her journey by arriving home on Sunday (May 7).

Anyone interested in supporting Dinah’s challenge, may do so via www.virginmoneygiving.com/DinahBosomworth