Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee teenager's voyage of Discovery

Andrew Batchelor
Image caption Andrew Batchelor's Dundee Culture site has been visited more than four million times

A Dundee teenager who doctors said might be unable to walk or talk has turned a website highlighting his love for the city into his first business.

Andrew Batchelor, who has a form of cerebral palsy, expanded the Dundee Culture site from a Facebook page he set up aged 13 in 2013.

The site has been visited by more than four million visitors from 45 countries including Malaysia and Russia.

The 17-year-old now plans to use the site to promote local businesses.

Andrew told BBC Scotland's Kaye Adams Programme that he had "defied the odds" when it came to the doctors' original diagnosis.

'Nothing's impossible'

He said: "My mum and dad were told I would never be able to walk - but I'm here walking and talking.

"Also, I've got autism, anxiety, and epilepsy, dyscalculia and dyslexia, so I've got quite a range of disabilities. I'm managing very well with them.

"I've been struggling, but I've managed to defeat all that and continue doing what I love, promoting Dundee.

Image copyright Ross Fraser McLean
Image caption Dundee's V&A Museum will open on 15 September

Andrew, who also recently launched a Dundee Culture podcast, said the majority of traffic to his website comes from Dundonians who have emigrated.

He said: "The people who like Dundee Culture use it as a news outlet to see what's happening in the city.

"There's a lot of interest in Dundee at the moment with the V&A, but not just that, because we're hosting the World Karate Championships.

"That's going to be a massive thing for the city and hopefully that will bring other future sporting events to Dundee."

Andrew started the Dundee Culture Facebook page when the city was bidding to become UK City of Culture 2017.

He said: "I contacted (the bid team) and asked if I could become part of the team and they said, sure, you can be a young voice for this bid.

"It was awesome to be part of that.

"Obviously Dundee didn't win it but that's where I got that foot in the door for the start of Dundee Culture."

Andrew said initial interest in his new venture has been encouraging.

He said: "I've just literally started this and I've attracted seven or eight businesses who are interested.

"Nothing's impossible to achieve your goals if you're a young person."

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