A WEE COUNTY woman has secured vital funding for Great Britain's Special Olympics team after being inspired by volunteering for the side.

Special Olympics GB was awarded £1,500 by The Pavers Foundation, the employee led charitable trust created by family-owned shoe retailer, Pavers.

The donation came after Lynsey Fleming, assistant manager at Pavers in Tillicoultry, applied for the grant to support the cause.

Founded by Catherine Paver in 1971, Pavers established the foundation in 2018 to enable charity giving by the business and its 1700 staff. Through the Foundation, Pavers has pledged £2.3m to good causes, which includes the employee grant applications, charities of the year and donations on behalf of the family.

Each Pavers staff member has the opportunity to put forward causes close to their heart which relate to health, education or community projects in their local area. A total of £73,800 has been awarded to the first round of 25 applications, with donations ranging from £500 to £11,000.

Lynsey, who lives in Alva and is the assistant manager at Pavers' Tillicoultry store said: "My partner is a lifeguard and basketball referee, and for years has been involved as a volunteer with his local Special Olympic team.

"This year he had the opportunity to help with the GB basketball team. It is a fantastic opportunity for all the athletes that are involved, as well as very rewarding for the volunteers."

Andy Heffer, director of sports and development at Special Olympics GB said: "Special Olympics' mission is to provide sports training and competition for people with an intellectual disability. The foundation of our work is the year-round local coaching programme, but our athletes also love the opportunity to test the skills that they have learnt in competition.

"Unlike the GB Olympic and Paralympic teams, the Special Olympics receives no UK Sport funding, and so donations from organisations are invaluable in helping us to raise the many thousands of pounds needed to send our athletes to the Games.

"We'd like to say a big thank you to The Pavers Foundation for its generous donation."