A GROUP of walkers are set to take on one of Scotland’s most iconic hiking routes in aid of a local respite centre for children with disabilities.
Amanda Johnstone from Glenrothes is leading a quartet who will tackle the West Highland Way together in June.
The team, which have been nicknamed M.A.P.D Out after each of their initials, are connected through their work at the St Clair Day Centre in Kirkcaldy.
They were inspired to raise money for Fife Short Breaks, a respite service operated by Scotland’s leading children’s charity Aberlour.
Amanda in particular has a strong connection the service which previously supported her brother and today provides care for her young nephew.
The service offers packages of respite care – short breaks which allow families time to recuperate from their roles as carers, while their child is being looked after in a dedicated environment elsewhere.
Amanda said: “My 14-year-old nephew Liam goes to McNally House in Glenrothes for respite breaks and outreach support. He has had a range of special needs ever since suffering a severe brain haemorrhage as a young child.
“It’s great for the family as they can have a rest. Liam also has three younger siblings and now he’s a teenager, his respite break means he gets time away to enjoy himself. He is so happy when he goes for his break and he’s happy when he comes home again.
“My mum Susan Page actually was one of the local mums who fought for the service to open 20 years ago. My brother Craig has Down’s Syndrome and she felt there was a need for the extra support.
“As a family, we have all seen first-hand how crucial this service is, and how it helps improve lives.”
Amanda and her team-mates have been in training for the walk for several months on the coastal routes around Fife.
They set off on June 9 and hope to complete the 96 mile walk in seven days, camping each night along the way.
The West Highland Way runs from Milngavie, just outside Glasgow, all the way to Fort William, taking in the shores of Loch Lomond and the moors of forests of the lowlands as well as the rolling hills and valleys of the Highlands.
Amanda and her team hope to attract lots of sponsorship which they will donate to McNally House.
Fife Short Breaks manager Jacqui Kirk said: We are so proud of Amanda and her team-mates for taking on this incredible challenge in aid of McNally House.
“We wish them the very best of luck and are sure they will enjoy this challenge of a lifetime.
“We look forward to welcoming them back and hope everyone that knows them will dig deep and sponsor them for their incredible efforts.”
To make a donation to M.A.P.D Out, log on to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/M.A.P.D-out