2021 Winner

Brynn Hauxwell


Teenager pushed himself to the limit in his wheelchair, covering nearly 1,700 miles last year in a gruelling charity challenge.

Brynn, 16, from Yell, is autistic and has ADHD, severe asthma and fixed ankle contractures which means he relies on a wheelchair to get around. 

A couple of years ago, Ability Shetland, an organisation that supports disabled people to realise their full potential, let Brynn use one of their all-terrain wheelchairs. 

It was life-changing not just for Brynn, but for his whole family. He says the special trike helped him to rediscover the great outdoors and also his freedom. “We were able to access so many parts of Shetland that many people take for granted, walking the hills and going along the beach.” 

He used the trike to complete a gruelling 20km all-terrain challenge in October 2019, travelling around some of Shetland’s tougher terrains at St Ninian’s Isle and Fethaland to raise funds to buy his own active wheelchair. 

“If it wasn’t for Ability Shetland we would not be where we are now,” says his mum Kim. 

Wanting to give back, the teenager decided to raise much-needed funds for the charity that gave him his new lease of life. He set himself the challenge of pushing himself 1,679 miles, the equivalent of Shetland’s coastline.

He began his challenge whilst shielding, on a specialist treadmill, and then, when it was safe, took to the roads completing around ten miles a day. He had blisters on his hands and cramps and back pain from the relentless work.

His extraordinary efforts raised more than £8,000 for Ability Shetland.

Determined to carry on fundraising, last May Brynn took on the fresh challenge of covering the distance of 16 half-marathons, the equivalent of 209 miles.

He raised another £1,200 for the charity and was congratulated in the Scottish Parliament.

Brynn, whose 12-year-old sister Faith has supported her brother on all his challenges, said: “I am happy to have won a Pride of Scotland Award but I did not set out or expect to win.

“I’ve gained a real sense of achievement from all the challenges but the main thing for me is that I have been able to give back. It has been great having my sister at my side motivating me too. 

“Being outdoors has had such a positive impact on my mental health, and I want others to benefit too.”

The teenager, who has also been volunteering with Ability Shetland’s children’s clubs for more than three years, added: “I have lots of other challenges in my head, including learning to paddleboard and pushing myself across the Netherlands to Belgium in my wheelchair.”