A team from pump rental company Selwood trekked a gruelling 50 miles of the West Highland Way to raise money for charities including Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).
Neil Jack, Selwood’s Sales Manager for Scotland, chose to back CHAS as part of Selwood’s #75for75 fundraising challenge. Staff across Selwood’s branches in England, Wales and Scotland are raising money for local good causes in a bid to raise £75,000 to mark the company’s 75th anniversary.
CHAS is the single specialist provider of hospice services for babies, children and young people across Scotland and support families through the terrifying heartbreak of knowing their child may die young.
Neil joined colleagues James Sinnock, Liam Harrison and Josh Taylor for the epic walk and climb, which saw them travel on foot from Milngavie to Tyndrum over a single weekend, walking for around eight hours a day. The trek included the most difficult section of the West Highland Way, from Rowardennan to Inverarnan.
James’s son Bailey joined for part of the journey while Bill Ritchie, manager of Selwood’s Edinburgh and Glasgow branches, manned a support vehicle, providing much-needed food, drinks and support along the way. The team camped overnight at Loch Lomond, where they swam to ease their aching limbs.
Neil said: “This was the most challenging experience of my life by far. The hardest thing was the elevation – lots of it was more like a mountain climb than a walk. There were parts where we just had to get over rocks, one after the other, on our hands and knees. It was brutal.
“By the end it was just a case of putting one foot in front of the other until we got there. We got through it as a team – at different times we all found it very tough but we pushed each other on.
“My feet are pretty much broken – I’ve got blisters on my blisters! But we have received a lovely letter from CHAS, written by an eight-year-old girl, which put everything into perspective and reminded us what it was all for.”
The walk was just the start of the adventure for the team, who also plan to take on a 50-mile trek along the River Wye in Wales in August, and the South Downs Way in September. So far they have raised around £2,000.
Rachel Gedge, Community Fundraiser from CHAS, said: “We are so grateful for the support of Neil and his colleagues at Selwood, for choosing CHAS as a recipient of their #75for75 fundraising challenge. They are taking on a truly incredible challenge, and every single pound they raise will make a real difference. It’s been a tough time for everyone, but none more so than the children with life-shortening conditions and their families.
“We all feel like time has been stolen from us, but for the families we support, this is time they can never get back. We want to say a big thank you to Neil and his colleagues. To everyone who donates to their epic challenge, please know that your donations will help make sure the time families have left together is as special as it can be.”
To support Neil and the team visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/selwood150
To find out more about Selwood #75for75 visit www.selwood.co.uk/75for75