A STORE manager in Ross-shire touched by the plight of a plucky three-year-old who is battling a rare condition is mobilising colleagues to "do something big".
Invergordon Co-op manager Lorraine Davidson came across Sam Douglas’s story while at a charity event. Sam suffers from an undiagnosed neurological condition that causes epilepsy and developmental delay.
A campaign, Step Up For Sam, aims to fund specialist treatment and equipment for the youngster, who lives in Inverness.
Part of the campaign will be a North Coast 500 cycle challenge.
Lorraine said: "I came across Sam’s story and felt sure that my colleagues across the region would want to get involved to help.
"Inspired to do something, I spoke to our area manager Danny Simpson, who suggested that we do something big – and the idea to embark on the North Coast 500 was born.
"We’re delighted to be helping out and are confident that our loyal and generous customers will get behind us over the next 12 weeks as we start training and collecting money for Sam."
Employees at Co-op stores – among them Conon Bridge, Muir of Ord, Dingwall, Evanton, Fortrose, Alness and Tain – are set to saddle up to boost the fighting fund.
The gruelling ride, from September 9 to 15, will mark the end of three months of fundraising for the youngster.
Sam lives with his mum Steph, dad Kris and sister Molly and requires long and intensive courses of therapy to potentially become more physically independent.
Much of the treatment is not available on the NHS.
Co-op north of Scotland area manager Daniel Simpson said: "It’s a core belief in our society that we connect with the communities we support and serve. To be able to make such a difference is humbling.
"The North Coast 500 is not for the faint-hearted and this is one of the biggest fundraising challenges we’ve taken on but it’s befitting this special boy."