Two professionals from the foodservice industry are set to walk the entire breadth of Scotland as part of a charity mission to raise funds for a Glasgow-based bereavement charity.
James Connolly of Celltherm Coldrooms and FCSI consultant Duncan Hepburn, of Hepburn Design/ Carilo Limited, are aiming to complete the 215km trek in around 10 days over Easter, starting off on the west coast of Scotland and finishing on the east coast.
The pair are raising money for the Brightest Star, a charity set up in memory of and after the tragic death of a five-year-old boy, Jack Kennedy, who died from a rare virus just six days short of his 6th birthday.
They will be joined on the walk by Anne Brunniche and Rebecca Hampson, who along with Mr Connolly are members of Northumbria Walking Group. They are inviting anyone to join them at any stage of the walk, with the planned schedule here.
The Brightest Star charity was founded and run by Arlene (Jack’s Mum) and the charity offers bereavement counselling, first aid training and memory boxes to hospitals and families, along with attempting to raise over £200,000 for a specially-adapted ambulance, which can be equipped to carry the parents of seriously ill children if there’s a requirement for transfer between hospitals.
This is one of the primary aims of the charity as her final time with Jack was tragically shortened when they were separated from one another as Jack was transferred to Edinburgh, due to a shortage of children’s hospital beds in the Glasgow area.
Mr Connolly decided he would do the trek after being invited to a charity ball last year where he was taken aback by the huge effort that was put together to raise money for worthy causes by the Accident & Emergency, Ambulance and Paramedic services of all the Glasgow Hospitals.
He is being supported by Celltherm Coldrooms with time off and will donate a week’s salary to the charity in support.
The group will be taking the route of the ‘John Muir Way’, a 215km walk across the central belt in Scotland from Helensburgh in the west to Dunbar in the east. It recently gained recognition as one of Britain’s best national walking routes.
The walk will also enable Mr Connolly to raise awareness of the John Muir Trust, which campaigns for the protection of the wilderness and open spaces all over Britain.
A spokesperson for the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, which are responsible for promoting the John Muir Way, said: “The John Muir Way was designed to be a route accessible to all regardless of ability and experience, and to inspire people to take an interest in nature and the outdoors. It’s always great to hear from walkers and cyclists about their own particular journeys and adventures on the route. This is a fantastic challenge by James and his team and we wish them the best of luck in their efforts to raise funds for their chosen charity, Brightest Star.”