Media release: Pipeline Industries Guild boost African amputees charity

THE Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG) has made a donation of £9,000 to support a charity set up to help amputees and disabled people in Malawi and Zambia.

Founder of 500 miles, Olivia Giles, accepted the cheque from PIG Scottish branch chair, Les Dickson.

The money was raised at the recent annual PIG Scottish Branch dinner held at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow and boosted by several generous donations on the evening.

Olivia attended the dinner and gave an interesting insight to guests on the valuable work being carried out by her 500-miles charity.

Begins a spokesperson: “Olivia is a former partner in a large Scottish legal firm who in 2002 contracted meningitis. This led to blood poisoning and gangrene which rapidly spread through her body and as a result it was necessary to amputate Olivia’s arms and legs below the elbows and knees.

“Since founding the charity in 2007, Olivia, with the help of support staff from other agencies, has made a huge difference to the quality of life for many Malawians and Zambians.

“500 miles currently supports three initiatives – the 500 Miles Prosthetic and Orthotic Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi, and the Zambian Italian Orthopaedic Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.

“The charity also contributes to FlysSpec, a Zambian flying medical service which provides orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery and prosthetic and orthotic services to rural towns and villages where specialist surgical and prosthetic and orthotic services would otherwise not be available.:

Les Dickson, who is senior business development manager with international welding group, Serimax, said: “Anyone who has met Olivia can’t fail to be impressed by her zest for life and the wonderful work 500 miles is doing in two of the poorest countries in the world.

“Malawi has strong links to Scotland and we felt it appropriate that the Pipeline Industries Guild should choose a charity where our donation would make a difference. 500 miles’ mission statement is to ‘get people moving’ and we hope this contribution will help them get many more people moving.”

Olivia Giles said: “I am really grateful for the support of the Pipeline Industries Guild and their donation will give many people with mobility difficulties in Malawi and Zambia a second chance to get up and get on with their lives.

“A small amount of money goes a long way in both countries – £60 pays for an average prosthesis or orthosis – so £9,000 will make a lasting and significant difference. I am due a huge thank you to Les for nominating 500 miles and to all connected with the Pipeline Industries Guild who contributed so generously.”


Note for editors 

The Pipeline Industries Guild was formed in 1957 It s the only association world-wide to cater directly for the needs of the pipeline and underground apparatus industries and provides a global platform for companies in the pipeline industry to share best practice, innovation and technological developments.

The Guild membership comprises of companies and individuals engaged in pipeline sectors, including those interested in hydrocarbons and chemicals, water and waste water, cables and many other products, both on and offshore.


500 miles was set up by Olivia Giles with the aim of supporting amputees and other disabled people in Malawi and Zambia.

Prostheses are devices which replace body parts which are missing. Orthoses are supports for body parts which don’t function properly. An average prosthesis or orthosis costs only £60 while £100 pays for an average prosthesis or orthosis or an orthopaedic or reconstructive operation to be delivered in a remote location.

It is 500 miles and not 500 Miles.

To find out more about 500 miles and to make a donation, visit

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Contact: Stephen Rafferty