You might have saw our recent post’s about our “West Highland Wahey” 40 miles-in-one-day charity walk. Many of you might be wondering what it’s all about. So, we thought we would explain our story and why we’re so passionate about raising funds for this charity.
Fraser has been the driving force behind the fundraising activities and especially the running of the 40 mile walk. He’s also had first hand experience with the GCHC charity (in his own personal life). We asked for 10 minutes of his time to answer some quick questions about the charity and the event…
So the West Highland Wahey is an idea that I came up with on a bit of a whim. There was no strategy, no logical sense or thought process other than “what can I convince my colleagues to do now”. Perhaps not the smartest approach but to be honest, as big a challenge as it is, it was an easy sell as we are raising money for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, our charity of the year and where my wee boy spent the first difficult few weeks of his life.
Last year we raised money for Simon Community, a homeless charity with a huge presence in Glasgow. Our big fundraising event was the Glasgow Half Marathon which 8 of us entered. It went well and was fairly successful but it didn’t feel inclusive enough for our large office of various fitness levels and walking enthusiasts……not runners, I was told! I felt we could push the boat further. So we have taken advantage of our very kind suppliers, who we have worked closely with along the WHW for over 15 years, and created our own event, the West Highland Wahey!
We now have 55 staff members and their friends/families taking part, all walking various distances of 40 miles, 26 miles, 19 miles and 12 miles. On top of that we have further staff members giving up their time, energy and expertise as volunteers/helpers on the day. Every distance has its challenges and everyone in the office is nervous. Sadly, I regularly hear my name being cursed aloud as people grudgingly opt to climb the office stairs instead of taking the lift or have chosen to walk to work leaving their bus passes at home.
The 40 miles we are walking is usually walked over 3 days (at least)! We will start walking at 4:30am and will walk the trail in reverse from Beinglas Farm to Milngavie starting with the leg sapping trek alongside Loch Lomond and will have to climb the steep side of Conic Hill at around the 20 mile mark. It’s a challenge, if we are honest, we may have underestimated but knowing how determined and hardworking all at Macs are I know we can battle through.
Kingshouse Travel are providing drivers and buses to transport us to the starting line and pick up any injured or overly exhausted participants. Beinglas Farm are letting the 25 of us who are walking the full 40 miles camp on their grounds the night before, while AMS baggage are collecting our tents and bags so we can walk with as little weight on our backs as possible, while both Rowardennan Hotel and Oak Tree Inn are allowing us to use their facilities as checkpoints, safety stops and starting points for our other distances.
One of the reasons I know that the staff here will give it their all is because of the close connection many have to the children’s charity we are doing this all for. In the last two years our little office of 50 has welcomed 10 smiling babies into the world with 1 more due to arrive in the next week! From our office window we can even see the Glasgow Children’s Hospital which welcomed most of our arrivals into the world. The majority of babies born had the briefest of stays before being brought home by their happy parents. A couple of the little ones born had a more disrupted start and were required to stay for a while.
My son, Arlo, was premature and spent his first month in the babies ICU unit where at 3 weeks old he had his first of several operations. He is a happy little guy and his mother and I could not be prouder of him. The issues little Arlo has pale in comparison to others and our stay in the hospital gave us a brief insight to the importance of all that the charity and the children’s hospital do to help children from all around Scotland.
The charity fund much more than I can list including vital research and essential equipment along with everyday tasks of transporting breast milk for premature babies across the country. The help my family continue to receive is invaluable. My son still has 11 different specialists and people he has to go see at the hospital so we know the place well. Without the support of the Children’s Charity and my colleagues at Macs Adventure I cannot say what my families current state would be.
Walking 40 miles in one day is tough but it is absolutely nothing compared to what those kids go through and the work the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity carry out every day. If you want to support us and help us hit our target of £5000 you can follow the below link to donate. If we hit our target of £5000 then Neil, the original Macs Adventurer, has promised to donate a further £5000 taking our total donations to a whopping £10,000! I would love to be able to put into words all that can be done with that kind of money!