Teenagers trek 43 miles of Fife Coastal Path in support of Ukrainian refugees

A St Andrews teenager and her friend have completed a mammoth 43-mile walk in just three days in support of the plight of Ukrainian refugees.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 8:32 am
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 8:41 am

Lucy Smith and her pal Ash Johnston, from Dundee, have raised around £1000 for the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal by using part of their school holidays to trek the Fife Coastal Path from Buckhaven to Leuchars.

The determined pair, both pupils at the High School of Dundee, were inspired into action by a news report on Ukrainians walking for 43 miles on a 20-hour journey to Poland flee the Russian invasion.

Ash, who admitted to being “truly shocked” by the report, said: “I couldn’t imagine children and adults having to leave their lives behind to travel such a distance through no fault of their own, and I decided I had to help.”

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Lucy Smith, of St Andrews, and Ash Johnston trekked 43 miles after hearing of refugees having to walk the same distance. (Photo: Paul Smith)

Lucy agreed, adding: “I didn’t want to just stand there and watch. I wanted to actually do something.”

They set themselves a target of £430, and urged their friends and families to support them – and they actually achieved their target even before they set out!

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They were supported on various legs of their fundraising trek by fellow High School of Dundee pupils, including their younger siblings Emily and Tom.

Lucy Smith and Ash Johnston make their way along the Fife Coastal Path. (Photo: Paul Smith)

Both are trainee cadets in the School’s Combined Cadet Force, but neither had ever done anything like this before.

By the time they reached Leuchars on the final evening, they were tired and exhausted – and had acquired a number of blisters.

Lucy said: “It was much harder than I expected. I couldn’t imagine having to do this without being able to get a proper sleep in my own bed each night before starting out again.”

Lucy Smith and Ash Johnston at the end of their 43-mile trek outside St Athernase Church in Leuchars. (Photo: Paul Smith)

Ash added: “Our walk was long and painful, but it could never compare to what thousands of refugees have to go through.”

The teenagers are grateful for all the support they have received – including a generous donation from a friendly dog-walker they met near Lundin Links – and are delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile cause.

Ash and Lucy are still accepting donations at their JustGiving page.