A CARING pair of midwives will reach new heights as they ‘deliver’ a welcome cash boost to charity – by hiking through the Himalayas.
Paisley women Jackie Shuttleworth and Jackie Plenderleith – who have dubbed themselves the ‘Two Mad Midwives’– are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime in India.
They will stay in a women-only village, visit the Taj Mahal, stop off at the Dalai Lama’s monastery, see Hindu temples and hike on a glacier.
And, every step of the way, the good pals will be raising awareness of women’s issues that are close to their hearts.
The two Jackies, who work at Paisley Maternity, will jet out to the province of Himachal Pradesh to generate vital funds for the Wellbeing of Women (WOW) charity.
They have already been training at Paisley’s Pro-Life gym ahead of their gruelling challenge and also have some hillwalking practice under their belts after a visit to hilly Arran.
Wellbeing of Women raises money to invest in medical research and the development of specialist doctors and nurses working in the field of reproductive and gynaecological health.
Jackie Plenderleith, from Oakshaw, said: “Being midwives, women’s health is a big priority for us.
“We have been hillwalking in Arran and we are going to have to pick that up over the winter ahead of the trek itself. Staff at the Pro-Life gym have been very good with us and have been giving us tips on how to avoid injury.
“The girls at the maternity and the team at Family Matters, which helps vulnerable families with children, have also been very helpful.”
And Jackie Shuttleworth, from Foxbar, added: “Every single person knows somebody who has had cervical cancer or fertility problems. I was speaking to someone recently who told me that her 21-year-old friend has cervical cancer.
“Pregnancy issues are a big thing, as is screening for foetal abnormalities.”
The pals will set off for India on April 17 next year and finish their adventure on April 26, covering terrain including mountain trails and rivers along the way.
They are funding their own costs for the trip, so every penny they raise will go to WOW, which is based in the UK.
The two Jackies need to raise £3,200 each and, although they have already made a dent in this, they want to pile up as much cash as possible.
Fundraising activities already planned include a coffee morning in Glenburn Parish Church, Paisley, from 10am until 12.30pm on Saturday.
There will also be a book stall and home baking and tablet for sale at the event, with entry costing £2.50 for adults and £1 for children.
Then, on Saturday, October 10, they will stage a 10.5-mile sponsored cycle round Millport. Anyone interested in taking part should meet at the Largs ferry ticket office at 11am for the crossing.
Fish and chips and a few pints in the pub are also on the cards and the whole family can take part, with tandems, six-seaters and kiddie carriers available for hire on the island.
For more information, phone 01505 815468 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, people can support the midwives’ fundraising efforts through online shopping at www.buy.at/jackieshuttleworth, where a slice of the money for each purchase goes to WOW.
You can also make a donation by logging on to www.justgiving.com/ twomadmidwives and you can discover more about WOW online at www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk