A Stevenston grandad who volunteers for young people with special needs is running the Stirling marathon for a charity close to his heart.

William Smith is raising money for the Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

The 62-year-old taxi driver volunteers as a service provider transporting Additional Support Needs children to and from school.

William told the Herald: “As well as being a taxi driver, I’m a service provider for transporting children with special needs.

“We’ve had children taken to the hospice and sadly we’ve lost them. It’s very sad.

“You see a lot of ladies are running for breast cancer, a lot of people do things for adult cancers, but you really don’t see much for children’s illnesses. Because I’ve got first-hand experience with it and as long as I’m fit enough and able enough to run, I’ll do it.

“The children’s hospice really is a beautiful place, it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a place where families can go for respite and it provides that for children right up until they’re 18. To me, I’ve got eight grandkids and we take a lot of kids there who are never going to have a life.”

William has ran the Glasgow half marathon for the last seven years, raising money for CHAS on the last three occasions.

But despite a number of health issues recently, William is determined to complete the Stirling marathon on April 29.

He added: “Training-wise it’s been very difficult for me because I work seven days a week. Even if I have to walk the last five miles I’ll do it.

“People don’t necessarily have to donate through the Just Giving page, they can hand me cash in person if they want. Every penny raised goes to the hospice.”

To support William, donate via his Just Giving page at https://www. justgiving.com/fundraising/billysmith6.