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



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A group of seven friends took to the Scottish Highlands earlier this month in aid of local children with special needs, raising more than £1,000.

Hiking 125km from Inverness to Forthill, the men set off on February 3 and made it back home on February 11, finishing two days earlier than expected.

Walking into the night, and an extra pair of legs, with friend Miles May, 24, joining the group of 23-year-olds before their set off, meant that they finished their walk in four days.

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

The motivated mates, all from Basingstoke, chose a Thatcham charity as their cause, raising a total of £1,100, with a hope to take the amount even higher still.

The allocation of Swings & Smiles was the choice of friend and former Thatcham Town Council events intern Ella Brown.

She said that being at the council had shown her how much work goes into what the charity does and she wanted to give something back. It is also this year's mayor's chosen charity.

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 the best of luck and show them around the building.

Thatcham mayor John Boyd attended and expressed joy for the charity and admiration for the fundraisers.

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

The trip to the centre motivated the group and they are due to pay another visit very soon to tell the tale of their trip.

Braving the snow for charity... Picture by: Miles May
Braving the snow for charity... Picture by: Miles May

The friends will be making a presentation for the staff and service users so they can see where the new funds have come from.

Hiking for Swings & Smiles. Picture by: Miles May
Hiking for Swings & Smiles. Picture by: Miles May
The group tried to capture as many views as they could. Picture by: Miles May
The group tried to capture as many views as they could. Picture by: Miles May


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