Freedom from Torture - Nada is Scooting the Clyde – crossing bridges, crossing the city

Nada is Scooting the Clyde – crossing bridges, crossing the city

Photo credit: Jannica Honey Photography

Nada Shawa has already made her plans for Saturday 19 May. She will be travelling from Glasgow’s Riverside Museum to the People’s Palace. But this is no ordinary journey. First, because the route planned will cross ten iconic Glasgow bridges, and second, because Nada will be using her mobility scooter “Scooty” to “Scoot the Clyde” to raise funds for Freedom from Torture.

“Scooting the Clyde” will cross ten Clyde bridges - from west to east they are the Millennium Bridge, Bell's Bridge, the Squinty Bridge (officially the Clyde Arc), the Squiggly Bridge (officially the Tradeston Bridge), George V Bridge, Glasgow Bridge, South Portland Street Suspension Foot Bridge, Victoria Bridge, Albert Bridge and St Andrew's (Blue) Suspension Bridge.

The starting point is the iconic new Riverside Museum, also known as the Transport Museum, which among its many exhibits contains an early model Mobility Scooter. Nada’s scooter is obviously much safer and more modern but many of its features are still discernible in this earlier version. Ballie Christy Mearns of the Green Party will launch “Scooting the Clyde” and wave off Nada at 1pm.

Ten bridges, and much water underneath them later, the finishing point is the much-loved and equally iconic People’s Palace on Glasgow Green. Nada, together with her right-hand women Moira and Heidi, aim to reach there sometime after two o’clock, where they will be met by staff of Freedom from Torture’s Scotland centre and members of Freedom from Torture’s Glasgow Group.

Nada knows Glasgow well having spent part of her childhood close to the city. The four and a half mile route has already been researched by Freedom from Torture Edinburgh Group stalwarts Moira and Heidi, who have assessed any obstacles and problems that might arise along the way. Refreshingly they report that there seem to be few problems – the most prominent being a high kerb near Central Station – and that the route is readily accessible.

Nada says that this is a tribute to the positive changes that have taken place in Glasgow in recent years – the whole city has opened up much more to residents and visitors, including people with disabilities. New bridges and buildings have been constructed and older ones renovated, and the riverside walk is open to all.

Nada says:

As an eight year old girl, it was Glasgow which I saw first, just as my plane landed. Along with my parents, we arrived from Gaza in Glasgow airport, where we then crossed over the Kingston Bridge into Glasgow city and stayed in the Central Station Hotel. There are so are many links that I have with this city. It is significant that I am doing this challenge, in the area where I first landed all those years ago.

Finding myself in Scotland and unable to go back to Palestine, I am doing my utmost to follow in the footsteps of my family who for generations have been working for the people, helping promote human rights, and aiding the 80 per cent refugee population of Gaza. So, where I now live Scotland, which is dear to my heart, I am working for human rights, and giving support to Freedom from Torture.

This is Nada’s second scooter journey in aid of Freedom from Torture. The first “Scootathon” in 2016 saw her scoot from central Edinburgh to North Queensferry braving the winds across the Forth Road Bridge. The Glasgow Bridges route is shorter but more complex but Nada and her team hope it will be equally successful in raising funds and awareness for Freedom from Torture.

Learn more and donate to Nada’s Ten Bridges Scooting the Clyde challenge at:

Nada welcome fellow scooters and skaters to accompany her Scooting the Clyde





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