A UNIQUE Scottish charity campaign aimed at giving budding young bagpipe players a better chance of achieving their ambition has received its farthest-flung donation to date – from 4,000 miles away in the mid-western US state of Kansas.

The Kintail pipes – based on a pattern dating back to 1888 – were sent to the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust’s (SSPDT) Bagpipe Amnesty by Andi Gamblin, who read about the initiative on the internet.

Although she has no Scottish roots, the 44-year-old – who learned to play 15 years ago – saw a Facebook post about the campaign from piper Donald McBride, and arranged for her pipes to be sent 4,227 miles to the trust’s Edinburgh headquarters.

Gamblin has travelled across the USA playing with various pipe bands, and currently plays with the Kansas City St Andrew Pipes and Drums. She wanted to donate her first set of bagpipes to give Scottish youngsters the same opportunity that she had.

She said: “It is hard to part with my pipes because they have been through so much with me. But after my husband surprised me with a new set of pipes for our 11th wedding anniversary, it makes no sense to have them sitting around for sentimental reasons when a child, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to play, could have their life enriched.

“I first started playing the pipes in 2001, in California, and I fell in love with the instrument straight away. My first set of pipes have served me well for 14 years, but it is time for them to be put to good use again.

“Piping can help change young people’s lives for the better so I think what the Bagpipe Amnesty is doing is fantastic.”

The amnesty has netted 14 sets of pipes and two sets of drums so far, as well as attracting interest from all over the world. It came about because the majority of pupils in Scottish schools do not have the chance to learn pipes and drums in the classroom. The trust will lend donated pipes to young aspiring pipers who cannot afford to buy a set.

Chief executive Alexandra Duncan said: “We are delighted to receive these pipes from Andi and we hope her generous donation will encourage others across the globe to donate.

“The SSPDT is helping more than 1,000 children across the country to learn the pipes and drums in state schools. This includes youngsters from some of Scotland’s most deprived areas who would never have the chance to learn piping.”