Newtonmore mums reach new heights with fundraising challenge

Finance & Admin Assistant

A group of local mums have taken on the task of climbing Ben Nevis to raise funds for a much-needed renovation of Newtonmore’s playpark. The group began fundraising in 2019 and had plans to organise a series of family events to raise funds, however, Covid-19 meant they had to put these plans on hold. Instead, the group – which includes Russwood’s Finance and Admin Assistant, Annette Harrigan - set themselves a challenge to climb the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Over to Annette to tell us more.

Ben Nevis challenge

Myself and some other mums, Elena, Kirsty, Lesley-Anne, Megan and Mel, decided to take on the challenge to climb Ben Nevis to raise money for the upgrade of our local playpark. None of us had done any hill walking before so this was not an easy challenge! A friend and experienced hillwalker, Dan, offered to guide us (along with his Border Terrier, Malcolm) so we knew we would be in safe hands on the day. We had planned to do lots of training in the run-up to the challenge but with us all being busy mums, life got in the way and we didn’t do as much as we had hoped, leaving us a little nervous about whether we would be able to complete the challenge.

Lesley-Anne, Elena, Mel and Annette
Guide Dan, with Malcolm

In good spirits

When the day finally came around, we set off from home at 5.30 am arriving in Fort William to a very foggy morning. Once Dan checked the weight of our backpacks to make sure we hadn’t packed for a week-long holiday, off we went. The weather wasn’t great with heavy fog and drizzly rain, but at least it wasn’t windy. We couldn’t see metres in front of us but we were making good progress and all in good spirits. We stopped halfway for a short break and some food before carrying on to the top. There were lots of other people on the hill with many stopping to see Malcolm, he must have felt like a celeb for the day and he got lots of treats!

We made it!

The weather was still poor and getting colder as we went on. Everyone we passed was in great spirit and so encouraging. We made it to the summit in good time but we couldn’t see a thing! It was freezing too, so it was a quick photo stop before heading back down again. Halfway down the fog and clouds disappeared and we finally got to see the stunning views. Once we’d seen how far we still had to go down, we realised it was probably a good thing that visibility was so poor on the way up! The sun came out and we carried on to the finish line where we had friends and family waiting for us with a bottle of fizz. We were all very pleased with ourselves and what we had just achieved and we were buzzing with news of the amount of donations coming through.

Delighted to make it to the top!
A well-deserved glass of fizz at the end of the day.

Thank you

We are so grateful to everyone who has donated money through our just giving page, sponsors from local businesses – including Russwood – anonymous donations and our two previous fundraisers. Our total to date is sitting at a phenomenal £25,239.63! We honestly cannot thank you all enough for your generosity, we never dreamt that we could raise this fantastic amount as a community.

Congratulations to Annette and the other mums for completing the Ben Nevis Challenge and raising so much money for the playpark upgrade. We are all proud of your efforts and look forward to hearing more about the plans for a new playpark.

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