A DETERMINED schoolgirl is stepping forward to help buy arts and crafts supplies for her fellow pupils.

Nine-year-old Rachael McCrystal, from Johnstone, has low muscle tone, which makes it difficult for her to walk far.

However, she plans to cover a two-mile distance to raise cash for Riverbrae School, in Linwood.

The school, which caters for pupils with additional support needs, had asked parents to help provide arts and crafts supplies this year.

With proud mum Janet lending a hand, Rachael has already raised around £900 through a GoFundMe page ahead of her sponsored walk.

And she hopes to coin in even more for the school ahead of the event on Saturday, March 19.

Janet told The Gazette: “Rachael is really happy about how much has been raised so far.

“We’ve decided to do the sponsored walk on March 19 so it coincides with World Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week, to help raise more awareness.

“Milliken Park train station is just along the road from us, so we’re going to set off from there at noon and we’ll go to Johnstone train station, as that’s where we will meet people who have collected donations for us.

The Gazette: Rachael McCrystalRachael McCrystal

“The two-mile distance is going to be a bit more of a challenge for Rachael, as she has low muscle tone and can’t walk very far, but I think she will manage it.”

Rachael will be accompanied on the sponsored walk by her mum and sister, as well as Susan Temple, who works at Johnstone train station’s ticket office and has been helping to raise funds.

Janet said: “Susan is my friend who stays across the road and both of us take part in a walking group.

“She has been helping us raise funds by telling people about the sponsored walk, while Riverbrae School have been providing sponsor sheets.

“Rachael loves going to Riverbrae. This is her fifth year at the school.”

Michelle Welsh, headteacher at Riverbrae, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Rachael for choosing to raise funds for the school and it will certainly have a very positive impact on us as a community.

“Arts and crafts gives the children the opportunity to be creative and having access to these resources will help with this.”

Rachael added: “I want to thank everyone who has supported me so far.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation should visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-rachael-raise-money-for-her-school.