A DOGGED 93-year-old who grew up around the Wee County is pedalling to the land Down Under in a bid to provide clean water in Africa.

William Stewart, who was raised in nearby Blairingone with Clackmannanshire being one of his old stomping grounds, has been defying his age to continue pedalling on his exercise bike.

By pedalling and racking up the miles, he hopes to raise funds to provide clean water at a centre in rural Malawi, which looks after the wellbeing of more than 700 children.

Mr Stewart, who is coping with peripheral neuropathy and Parkinson's, said: "Don't give up if you've got a disability; I've got two-three disabilities, but I won't let it get me down.

"There are many things I can't do, but that doesn't matter. It's the things that I can do that matter and age is not the end of the world.

"I'm happy now; I've lived a long life, I've had a good life. I do what I want to do.

"It's important to have a vision, something that drives you."

William Stewart was born in Australia, but his family moved back to Scotland when he was a baby. He now lives in Southampton.

Also known as Aussie Will, Mr Stewart has been on a 13,000 mile journey on a static exercise bike since 2016 to the land where he was born.

He recently decided to turn the great cycle journey into a fundraiser for the William Stewart Foundation, which he co-founded years ago to help people in Malawi.

Hopes are to raise as much as £8,000 for a borehole, solar powered pump and more at the foundation's resource centre in rural northern Malawi.

The initial target has been set at £5,000, which would provide a deep borehole with a submersible pump.

There is a community borehole some half a mile away from the centre, which carries out farming activities, but it is drying up.

This means water has to be obtained from a nearby river, running the risk that children could contract typhoid fever, dysentery and, more recently, coronavirus.

Will, who still works part-time for the Institute of Counselling in Glasgow and has written more than 60 books in his field, explained that a sense of purpose remains important to him.

He added: "I've always had a goal in life and my goal, I suppose, is to keep as active as possible."

For more information and to support the fundraiser, visit bit.ly/3hg3U4l