North Berwick residents and visitors were treated to a spooky Hallowe’en scene... when a couple of witches glided past on the Firth of Forth!

But the witches weren’t on broomsticks – they were on paddleboards.

Local mums Emma Papakyriakou and Ruth Fraser donned the witch garb for their scary paddle to raise money for Reverse Rett, after their children’s schoolfriend, nine-year-old Eliza McKinney, who has Rett syndrome, was recently hospitalised.

Emma said: “We just cannot believe the generosity of the local community since setting out to do this fun challenge. We have already smashed our target of £200 and are now over £2,000.

“Before moving to East Lothian, my daughter Anna was at nursery with a little girl who had Rett syndrome, so we had some awareness about this condition.

“After moving to North Berwick over three years ago, I met Catherine, Eliza’s mum. Eliza also has Rett syndrome and is in my son Rory’s class.

“Over the years we have donated and participated in events Eliza’s family have been the driving force behind. However, recently, since Eliza was admitted to hospital and inspired by Eliza’s big brother Angus’ fundraising, Ruth and I felt we should do our witchy paddle for a good cause.”

Ruth added: “I started 2020 with the mantra ‘do more of what I love’ and, although it’s not been the year to take full advantage of that, I love being by, in or close to the sea, and I’m lucky that’s still been possible even through this difficult year.

“It’s fantastic to get to do something I really enjoy while raising funds for such an important cause, and hopefully we brought some smiles to people who spotted us this Halloween.”

To donate to the spooktacular Reverse Rett paddle, go to