A MEMBER of the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band has raised more than £7,000 for seriously ill children in Scotland and their families – by crossing Loch Long on a floating bike while blasting out tunes on his bagpipes.

The unusual challenge was carried out by Roddy Garden, from Cove, who used a specially adapted cycle to ride the waves across Loch Long.

Big-hearted Roddy is no stranger to taking on thrill seeking stunts. Over the years, he has bungee jumped and braved a zip line all while playing his pipes.

However, this is the first time Roddy has taken on a challenge to raise money for charity, which he has donated to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

READ MORE: Extreme bagpiper Roddy completes Loch Long cycle challenge

Roddy said: “The stunts I have done before have all been spur of the moment but then people suggested I should do one for charity.

“I’ve known about CHAS and Robin House for a long time and I wanted to do something for the children and families they support so came up with the idea of crossing Loch Long.”

Braving the Scottish weather and cheered on by his family and friends, Roddy made the two mile trip across the loch on September 28, reaching land at Cove Sailing Club, and piped a number of well-known tunes including Scotland the Brave, Rowan Tree and Green Hills of Tyrol as he went.

Roddy also works in the film and TV industry and was able to drum up support for his fundraising efforts from some well-known faces, including Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe from the television show, Outlander.

READ MORE: Helensburgh band's 'extreme piper' opens new Highland thrill ride

Roddy continued: “Everyone has been so generous and after Sam and Caitriona tweeted about it, I was getting donations from as far away as America. It was quite a buzz. My family and friends have been really supportive too – I couldn’t have done it without their help.”

Roddy delivered his cheque for more than £7,000 to Robin House, Balloch, in style when he arrived on his bike and treated staff and families to a quick blast of his bagpipes.

Roddy has got plans for another fundraising stunt next summer, to raise even more money for CHAS but he’s keeping them under wraps for the time being.

“My next challenge will be even more 'out there' but I’m keeping it secret for now,” said Roddy.

READ MORE: Lomond School pupils hand over £1,000 cheque to CHAS

Maxine Campbell, community fundraiser from CHAS, said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Roddy and I can’t thank him enough for what he has done for CHAS.

“Everyone has loved hearing about his unusual fundraising challenge.

“Roddy has raised an amazing amount of money for us and his efforts will help CHAS in our mission to reach every family in Scotland who face the heart-breaking reality that their child will die before them.”

CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

READ MORE: CHAS volunteers share their heart-warming Robin House stories

The national charity offers palliative care and respite for the whole family via its two hospices and via its CHAS at Home service, which supports families in their own homes, and through its increasing presence in hospitals across Scotland.

To make a donation to Roddy, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/roddy-bagpipes2019.

For more information about CHAS please visit chas.org.uk.

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