23 May 2012

Olympic torch tales – keep ’em coming

This is the second in a series of blogs where you can send us your torch tales, building up a picture of Britain as it responds to 70 days of the Olympic torch odyssey through these islands.

If you have a story about the torch, please send details to news@channel4.com or @alextomo on Twitter.

Many thanks for more startling and uplifting torchy tales from across these islands.

First stop Jenna Speirs, on the Isle of Bute. Jenna was nominated to be a torchbearer by her mum Caroline for her tireless work with Calum’s Cabin, a local charity in memory of her late twin brother.

Calum had cancer and it was his dying wish that a cabin be built on Bute for families with children suffering from terminal illness.

The sixth year Rothesay Academy student will be holding the torch as it goes through Girvan on Friday, 8 June .  Jenna, who hopes to go to university this year to study radiography, says: “It feels amazing. I can’t believe I’ve been one of the few people that have been picked.”

Jenna has worked hard with the support of her family and the community to raise the cash to build and maintain the respite holiday home.

Staying north of the border, Myles Clark, from Lochgilphead, is carrying the torch on a stretch of the banks of Loch Lomond.

Myles is a 17-year-old boy who has ADD, epilepsy and learning difficulties. He has struggled throughout school but  has overcome these difficulties and is working towards his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

During this time he has completed over 220 hours additional voluntary work at weekends and school holidays in a local kennels and daily in school supporting another pupil with additional needs.

A quick mention down in the southwest of England for Alec Collyer who carried the torch on Dartmoor. This was in recognition of 30 years as a volunteer with Dartmoor Search and Rescue on call 24/7 365 days.

I don’t have any more details than this for our next mention – so here goes: “If you’re looking for people to big up might I suggest Michael Kerr of the Paralympic wheelchair rugby squad. Inspirational guy, only Scot in the squad I believe and huge Celtic fan.”

Meanwhile  on 8 June in Alloway, “Chopper” will be carrying the torch. Real name John, he’s nominated because of inspiring work and commitment to young people with addiction problems. A friend and colleague of Chopper’s wrote:

“Chopper is genuinely one of the funniest and most positive lads I know, many of us will phone him up just for the entertainment value and humour. When I heard he had been nominated and accepted as a torchbearer I couldn’t think of a more deserving person.”

Keep ’em coming!

To be continued …

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