A GREENOCK woman reached new heights to raise vital funds for the team who helped her after she lost her mum to cancer.

Vera McLean, husband Jim and her two colleagues at the Little Sisters of the Poor home, Sharon Doolan and Lynn Hutchison, battled Ben Nevis in aid of Ardgowan Hospice.

The mum-of-three decided to take on the challenge after losing her mum, Nessie Beavers, who died at 76 last year after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

The pensioner, originally from Linwood, moved to Greenock to be with her family after losing her husband Alexander just 10 months before her own passing.

Nessie attended grief counselling with the hospice's bereavement team after losing Alexander, with Vera also using the service after losing her mum to the cruel disease.

Vera, mum to Gemma, Shannon and Shaun, told the Tele: "My mum moved to Greenock shortly after my dad passed away and we were put in touch with the hospice bereavement service.

"Even through the lockdown, the hospice kept in touch with my mum and were always there if she called.

"She had a few sessions with the counsellor and she was a new lady.

"After she died, I also got in touch with the hospice and had my own counselling sessions."

Vera, who is a carer at the local home on Union Street, says her mum was diagnosed with the disease after a general check-up with Greenock Health Centre.

She said: "When my mum moved here she registered with the new health centre they sent her for general tests.

"That's when she was told she had cancer.

"It's been hard going losing my parents so close together - we also lost Jim's dad in 2019 too, so it's been one parent a year.

"Everyone knows someone who has been touched by the work of the hospice, so they were the perfect person to raise money for."

The team set a target of just £200, however are on track to hand over almost double to the compassionate place of care.

Elaine McNeill, fundraising officer at Ardgowan, added: "We are so grateful to Vera, Jim, Sharon and Lynn for taking on this challenge.

"Ben Nevis is no easy task, so we cannot thank them enough for choosing us to benefit from their fundraising efforts.

"We are glad we were able to bring some comfort to both Vera and her late mum after their sad losses."