80 scale peak for charity

Published: 15 Jun 2012 16:30

AN 80-STRONG group reached new heights when they scaled Ben Lomond to help a local charity for sick kids.

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The Dreams Come True organisation, which works to fulfil wishes for youngsters who are seriously ill, will benefit after the intrepid adventurers climbed Ben Lomond on Saturday.

The youngest walker was aged just six and the oldest 68 - with many of those taking part having never climbed a hill before.

Lauren O'Donnell, who organised the event, said: "Everyone completed the walk and the weather was fantastic - the forecast was for showers but we got it sunny all day with blue skies.

"It was a bit overcast in the morning but by the time we got to the hill it was great weather and we all started off a bit too hot!"

The walkers were split into groups according to their level of fitness, with Lauren leading the children's group.

She said: "I walked with the kids' group because I wanted to make sure everyone was off the hill safely so I was the last one off. Some of them were just six or seven and there were a couple who were 12 but there was not a single moan on the way to the top, which is unusual.

"Some of the hill guides do these walks on a regular basis with the scouts or other groups and they commented on what a good atmosphere it was.

"Everyone was in a good mood and it made my job easy having everyone up for it."

Colleen Keogh, 20, completed the walk with her pal Jill Mortimer, a pupil at Clydeview Academy.

Colleen was particularly keen to tackle Ben Lomond as she is planning a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in September.

She said: "I thought it was good training for Kilimanjaro.

"Jill and I power walked and I know now when you are doing a mountain walk you really need to pace yourself.

"It was a great atmosphere and it was good to socialise with everyone."

It is not yet known how much money the Ben Lomond event will make for Dreams Come True as it will take a few weeks for all the sponsorship money to be collected.

It is hoped by the end of the year that around £50,000 will have been raised for the charity from a variety of fundraising events.

A trek is planned for Ben Nevis in August and a group will be tackling the Great Wall of China in October.

Lauren, a senior fitness instructor at Greenock's waterfront gym, is organising the Ben Nevis walk and hopes to get 100 Inverclyde folk involved.

Lauren would like to thank C&M Coaches for their support on the day, plus all the hill guides who volunteered to lead the groups.

Anyone who would like to sign up for the Ben Nevis walk can contact Lauren by emailing lauren.odonnell@inverclyde.gov.uk

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