Fifer takes on Ben Nevis challenge in mental health fundraiser

A Fife woman is set to walk up Scotland's highest mountain to raise money for a Scottish mental health charity.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 8:27 am
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 8:29 am

Gemma Daw, from Glenrothes, is taking on the Ben Nevis challenge on Saturday August 21, as part of the Mountains Mend Minds fundraiser for SAMH called 'Hike a Hill'.

The website was established by Ross Cunningham from Caskieberran, to encourage Scots to take up hillwalking as a way to improve mental wellbeing - and he and other fundraisers will be joining the hike to bag a Munro.

Gemma said: "I’m really looking forward to completing the hike up Ben Nevis.

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Gemma Daw and Ross Cunningham
Gemma Daw and Ross Cunningham

“I’m a total novice but I’ll be getting some practice in before hand so I can be ready to take the challenge on safely.

“I’m nervous but also excited to complete it!

"Munro bagging is something I’ve wanted to do for about 18 months now. I think reaching the summit will be such an achievement that I’ll be proud of forever.

“The fact that it’s for such an amazing charity is also brilliant."

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Ross has won widespread praise for promoting the benefits of walking in Scotland’s hills - earlier this year he scooped the Media/Online Walking Champion award at the Scottish Walking Awards.

Ross said: "Hillwalking was a big factor in improving my mental wellbeing when I was going through depression and since then I've wanted to do what I can to inspire others to realise the mental health benefits of the outdoors.

"In collaboration with SAMH we are challenging Scots to 'hike a hill' of any size for mental health. It's a great way to push yourself to summit a hill or mountain possibly for the first time while raising money for an incredible charity that are supporting people with their mental wellbeing during truly unprecedented times.

"It's important not to decide to do something too far out your comfort zone so whether it's Ben A'an or Ben Nevis 'hike a hill' this August to improve Scotland's mental health as well as your own.

"I'm delighted Gemma is taking part and really hope people will support her challenge and raise money for a very worthy charity doing so much to support Fifers and Scots with their mental health."

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