Intrepid charity champions to take on 26-mile mountain trek challenge


Press Release | 17/06/2016

A mum-of-two will trek the length of a marathon through some of Scotland’s toughest terrain in just 12 hours to raise money for the charity that cares for her daughter.

Rosie McGearey, of South Queensferry, will tackle the Great Glencoe Challenge on 2 July on behalf of Scotland’s largest visual impairment organisation, Royal Blind. Rosie and Ciara on the beach

Rosie’s daughter, Ciara, aged 19, lost her sight after contracting meningitis as a baby. She attended the Royal Blind School in Morningside and now has several nights respite care each week at the charity’s Forward Vision transitional service for young adults.

Now the 48-year-old former RAF medic, who is a full-time carer for Ciara, says she feels it is her duty to pay the charity back for its support and has set up a Just Giving page.

Rosie said: “Ciara was born in Paderborn in Germany when her dad, Mac, was in the army. She contracted meningitis shortly after birth and along with other complications we were devastated to find Ciara was severely visually impaired and had no functional sight.

“We moved as a family to Edinburgh when Ciara was a few months old. Our GP put us in touch with Royal Blind and we began our relationship in those early months by going to a mother and baby group. Our family’s relationship with The Royal Blind School flowered from there.

“The staff helped us not only to come to terms with what lay ahead for Ciara and our family but show us that the future was much brighter than we had anticipated.”

The Great Glencoe Challenge is billed as Scotland’s ‘toughest treckathon’. The challenge will see Rosie and her intrepid friends, SJ Graham Pedel and Samantha Blyth, ascend 4500ft, hiking 26.2 miles through Glencoe, over the Devil’s Staircase and through the Lairig Mor to Glen Nevis.

The team are preparing for the challenge by walking, running and power training. They hope to raise £500 for Royal Blind.

Rosie added: “I’m very excited about the challenge. We care for Ciara full-time and she is the centre of our very loving family. Even though her sister Naomi and her family have recently moved from England to Germany we managed to speak with them most days. Ciara has now spent the last seven years blossoming under the Royal Blind umbrella, firstly at the Royal Blind School and now for a few nights per week at Forward Vision.  

“We don't often get the opportunity to pay back to the community or charities that have helped us but feel it's our duty to pay something back when we can.”

Forward Vision is Royal Blind’s transitional service, providing supported accommodation to young adults between the ages of 17-25 who have a visual impairment as well as other disabilities.

To support Rosie’s fundraising challenge, visit


Notes to editors:

  • Royal Blind is Scotland’s largest charity supporting people with visual impairments. We run a number of services for blind and partially sighted people, the largest of which is the Royal Blind School. Our vision at Royal Blind is to make a significant contribution to building a community in which blind and partially sighted people, including those who also have other disabilities, are fully included and lead fulfilling lives.
  • The Royal Blind School is a national grant aided special school that educates and cares for pupils who are blind or have a visual impairment, as well as those with additional support needs.
  • For further information about the school’s history see