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The annual open day (24 June) at Ice Factor Kinlochleven, the world’s largest indoor ice-climbing facility and a 5-star Visit Scotland adventure tourism centre in the west highlands has helped raise £726 for a number of local and national charities, including Down’s Syndrome Scotland.

The monies raised also help the local community to annually organise a visit for local children from Santa with his 2017 appearance planned for 2 December. The latest fundraising drive now means that since January 2017, Ice Factor Kinlochleven has helped the village raise over £2186 for good causes.

During the open day, climbers and non-climbers alike and for just £5pp could scale the rock walls and experience the thrill of the 15m high outdoor aerial adventure course.  Locals and visitors to the £3.6m facility in Kinlochleven also enjoyed ice-climbing, browsing various stalls, children’s face painting, a raffle and took the chance to relax and soak up the atmosphere with freshly prepared food in Ice Factor Café.

However, the day of fundraising started 21 miles north in Fort William when plucky charity volunteers and their families undertook a Gangnam style walk from the town to join the open day at Ice Factor Kinlochleven.

Kay McDuff from Kinlochleven and her 13 year-old son called Mark, who has Down’s syndrome, is a leading light in the fundraising drive for Down’s Syndrome Scotland.  Kay said: “Thanks to a huge community led effort, we have managed to raise much needed funds for Down’s Syndrome Scotland and a number of other charities.

“Some of us have very tired legs after the walk from Fort William but it was lovely to see so many people from near and far join the fun at the Ice Factor open day and to help contribute so generously to our fundraising effort. Huge thanks to all.”

Tracey Smith, Operations Director at Ice Factor Kinlochleven, commented: “The annual Ice Factor open day is annually held as a fun and community spirited event that aims to support charity, encourage young and old alike to get active and experience all that our award winning facility has to offer.

“The open day gives all local charities the opportunity to come together to raise funds for causes close to their heart. Ice Factor is very proud that as part of a small west highland village, £2,186 has already been raised for very worthwhile causes, including Down’s Syndrome Scotland.”

Down’s Syndrome Scotland, that has local branches throughout the country, is the only charity in Scotland focused solely on the needs of people with Down’s syndrome, their families and carers. The charity reports that approximately 750 babies are born every year in the UK with the congenital condition that affects learning.  However, many children with Down’s syndrome attend mainstream school and many adults can live independently and hold down jobs.