At the Edinburgh care home of the Veterans’ charity Erskine, three intrepid fundraisers accepted the good wishes of everyone for their upcoming challenge. Aptly named by the trio; “The West Highland Way 100” is in aid of ex-service personnel and their spouses cared for, by the charity, in four care homes across Scotland.
On 7th August, Stephen Dunn (46), Dillon Thomson (18) and Michael Downey (18) will begin their very original and exceptionally daunting adventure. A loaded march of 100 miles following the route of the famous West Highland Way, ascending a total of 15,000 feet, whilst carrying 35lb in weight. Finishing, a punishing, 30 hours later in Fort William, the team will have been pushed not only physically but mentally too.
They are, however steadfast in their determination to succeed. Their loyalty to those who have served being at the heart of everything they have trained for the past few months. All three have strong connections to the Armed Forces. Michael is serving with 2 Paras, student Dillon has aspirations of joining the Armed Services on graduating and is under the watchful eye of the Training Wing staff at 4 Para (Reserves) in Glasgow. And, long-time Erskine supporter Stephen, as well as serving in the TA, has witnessed the exceptionally high standard of care given to his Uncle by devoted and professional staff in the charity’s Anniesland home.
Dillon said: “The challenge ahead gives me an opportunity to show my support for those who served our country and to those who provide the vital care for them. Our fundraising attempt is our way of contributing to this crucial work” Michael said: “As a serving soldier the importance of Erskine can’t be understated; it could easily be me, needing that support one day. And finally from Stephen: “Erskine has a special place in my heart and having witnessed first-hand, the exemplary care given to a member of my own family, the challenge we have set, is a way to show our gratitude for the work they continue to do. We’re proud to support those who care”
Erskine’s Head of Fundraising & Communications Sara Bannerman said: “We would like to thank Stephen, Dillon and Michael for undertaking this extremely challenging event in aid of Erskine. Unwavering support such as this helps us to keep our Veterans and their spouses safe, happy and well. It is very much appreciated and we wish the team every success on their march”