Hiking events

Hike heroes complete Scottish Highlands challenge raising over £1,000 for charity Thatcham Swings & Smiles

A group of seven friends traveled to the Scottish Highlands earlier this month to help local children with special needs, raising over £1,000.

After a 125km trek from Inverness to Forthill, the men set off on February 3 and returned home on February 11, finishing two days ahead of schedule.

Walking through the night, and an extra pair of legs, with friend Miles May, 24, joining the group of 23-year-olds before they left, meant they completed their walk in four days.

The boys on their Scottish adventure. Picture by: Miles May

The motivated pals, all from Basingstoke, chose a charity Thatcham as their cause, raising a total of £1,100, in hopes of raising the amount even higher.

The Swings & Smiles award was the choice of friend and former Thatcham Council Events trainee, Ella Brown.

She said being on the board showed her all the hard work that the charity does and that she wanted to give something back. It is also the mayor’s chosen charity this year.

The boys on their Scottish adventure.  Picture by: Miles May
The boys on their Scottish adventure. Picture by: Miles May

Swings & Smiles welcomed the men on January 22 to wish them good luck and show them around the building.

The Mayor of Thatcham, John Boyd, was present and expressed his joy for the charity and his admiration for the fundraisers.

He said: “Swings & Smiles is at the heart of Thatcham, people still don’t know they are there. Things like this, media coverage of the efforts young people are making to support them is vital.”

The trip to the center has motivated the group and they are due to pay another visit very soon to tell the story of their trip.

Brave the snow for charity... Photo by: Miles May
Brave the snow for charity… Photo by: Miles May

The friends will give a presentation for staff and service users so they can see where the new funds are coming from.

Hike for Swings & Smiles.  Picture by: Miles May
Hike for Swings & Smiles. Picture by: Miles May
The group tried to capture as many viewpoints as possible.  Picture by: Miles May
The group tried to capture as many viewpoints as possible. Picture by: Miles May