Northern Ireland

Two Co Down sisters with sight loss singing their way to raise funds for charity

Mollie (9) and Beth (12) Gibson from Banbridge are taking part in the 'Take on 250 Challenge' for RNIB
Mollie (9) and Beth (12) Gibson from Banbridge are taking part in the 'Take on 250 Challenge' for RNIB Mollie (9) and Beth (12) Gibson from Banbridge are taking part in the 'Take on 250 Challenge' for RNIB

TWO Co Down sisters with sight loss are singing notes in exchange for notes in a bid to raise funds for charity.

Mollie (9) and Beth (12) Gibson from Banbridge are taking part in the 'Take on 250 Challenge' for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to highlight that every day in the UK, 250 people begin to lose their sight.

To help spread awareness, the RNIB and 28 other charities from the sight loss sector have united to encourage people to 'take on 250' during the month of January - a virtual fundraiser where people take on any challenge, from baking to knitting, running or dancing, to be completed in 250 minutes, 250 laps or 250 hours.

The sisters, who both have sight loss, decided to sing for 250 minutes throughout January, initially aiming to raise £100.

But after their mother Lindsay posted twice daily videos of the girls singing on her Facebook page, the donations started flooding in. The videos have become such a hit with many logging on daily to hear the girls’ latest rendition.

The sisters were born with Albinism, a condition where they have less melanin than usual in their body. Melanin gives skin, hair, and eyes their colour and albinism is associated with vision problems.

Mrs Gibson said: "When they were born, their diagnosis was something we weren’t expecting. While neither Andrew nor myself have the condition, but we are both carriers.

"Very quickly we were put in touch with the right support networks and realised it was all manageable and so we took each day as it came.

"The girls are great, this is their normal and they manage really well.

"Without technology and the tools and aids they use in school, like iPads and magnifiers, things might be different, but they can manage. Technology has come so far and its life changing."

The sisters wanted to raise money for RNIB - the charity that facilitates the youth club they attend. They have raised nearly £3,000 through their mix of Christian hymns, folk and pop songs and Disney theme tunes.

Mollie said: "We wanted to do this so RNIB could continue to help people who can’t see as well as everyone else.

"We’ve really enjoyed the challenge so far and everyone has been so lovely with their comments and donations, we can’t believe how many people are watching!

"It has been good fun and we’ve laughed lots."