Dale used Waverley Care’s services as a child. He took part in our Children & Famlies Project and, although HIV negative himself, both of his parents were living with HIV. Most recently he has been a major supporter of our work.
You’ve done some fundraising for Waverley Care, we understand?
I made the decision 4 years or so ago to raise money for a charity by doing the Edinburgh Marathon. I wanted to do a challenge for a charity that had meant something to me, Waverley Care was the obvious choice given the support they had provided for my Mum and family over the years. I managed to raise some money, which was really inspirational. Unfortunately I had a bad pelvic injury 4 weeks before the marathon so had to withdraw. I have since run 2 marathons! Keep an eye out as I am running a 36.5 mile ‘Ultra Marathon’ this year which I will be fundraising for!
Also, when I got married, we used the Waverley Care ribbon pins as wedding favours. They went down really well.
How did Waverley Care help you and your family?
The biggest thing from my perspective was the support they gave me as a child, the realisation that I wasn’t the only child going through a difficult time through having a parent with HIV. The Children & Families team took us away for weekend residential trips to Arran and various day trips, they also provided great one to one support, when required. My mum spent a lot of time in Waverley Care’s Milestone Residential Support Centre, the staff, be it the nurses or volunteers, were excellent and created a welcoming and supportive environment. Growing up with this environment made me appreciate the harsh reality of what others were going through, but also gave me the realisation of the negative and unwarranted stigma attached to HIV. Something I’m keen to help eradicate in any small way.
How did HIV affect you and your family’s life?
Unfortunately, I have now lost both parents to HIV. My father died when I was 7, my mum passed more recently when I was 31. It has had a profound effect on all of my family, it is something that is very difficult to get over. The illness caused such a huge domino affect for all of the family; it was the cause of our childhood bring very unsettled, then even into adulthood the effect the illness had on my mum meant nearly everyday we would be faced with a new challenge!
What about life now for you – what are you up to?
I am now living the dream! I have started my own personal training and Fitness business in Edinburgh called DARE Fitness. I get to work with and coach great people from different backgrounds, all with their own specific goals. It’s awesome! I also run a lot! It’s a great way to relax and de-stress the mind – I definitely recommend it!
Tell us more about you – What is your favourite book?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
What is your favourite films?
Smokey & The Bandit 2, Elvis:The Movie and Ali.
What is your favourite food & drink?
I love a good BBQ; smoked fish or a medium/rare steak. Favourite drink….chocolate milk!
Who inspires you?
My brother and sister, Lee and Zoe. Both have seen enough and been through more than a lot of people would go through in 100 lifetimes; they have grown up to be awesome individuals. Professionally, all the people that come to me with a goal and work 100% to achieve that goal. Oh, and Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Any dreams for the future?
I would love to build DARE Fitness into a branded business with solid core values that can be appreciated throughout the fitness industry. Also, to have a long standing partnership with Waverley Care. The charity is something I talk about a lot and I would really like the two to be successfully linked.