Highlands & Islands MSP Rhoda Grant got into costume at the Scottish Parliament this week to raise awareness of a dangerous lung condition - and call on the Scottish Government to improve the support it gives to sufferers.

Rhoda Grant posed for pictures with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s communications manager Laurence Cowan who is running his own personal fundraising campaign for people living with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) after watching his father struggle with the condition.

Mr Cowan went to work every day this month dressed in a super-hero costume in a bid to encourage others to follow suit and fundraise for his charity, which supports people with COPD.

He said: “My dad is the kindest and most encouraging man you’ll ever meet but COPD is taking his breath away and every day he feels like he’s been running a marathon. It’s one of the main causes of death and disability in the world and there is no cure. We can help people to live a full life for longer by making sure someone is there to listen and give advice and that’s what Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s heroic advice line nurses do.”

The charity is also pressing the government to improve the support it provides to people with lung conditions.It argues that thousands of people in Scotland are missing out on vital supervised programmes of exercise training, health education, and breathing techniques. And it warns the NHS is missing out on “significant” savings, as a result.

Mrs Grant said: “New figures show the number of people with COPD has risen sharply just in a few years. Here in the Highlands and Islands nearly 9000 people are now living with COPD and that’s up from just over 6600 in 2011.

“Across Scotland, a record number of people, a staggering 139,187 individuals, have been diagnosed. That’s an increase of 26 per cent since 2011. It means more people than ever before are needing support and rehabilitation to manage their condition and cope with the impact it can have on their lives.”

Visit https://www.chss.org.uk/supportus/fundraise-for-us/fundraising-hero-pack/ for a Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Fundraising Pack for

Donations to Mr Cowan’s own fundraising campaign can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fundahero.

A £10 donation funds a call to the charity’s Advice Line nurses.