Luke, his Mum Charlotte, and mascot Keith the Highland Coo have achieved something incredible for CHUMS by completing the 96-mile West Highland Way walk and raising just under £1,800, with donations still coming in.
Luke was inspired by his Mum’s previous walks and wild camping stories, and decided he wanted to take on the challenge to help raise awareness of children’s mental health and the work CHUMS does to support children, young people and adults.
The challenge took 7 days, averaging 8-10 hours walking and completing between 12-16 miles a day. They walked a massive 19 miles on day three.
Luke was well prepared, having trained with a well-planned schedule, including walking, body weight strength training and mobility stretching. When asked where he trained for the challenge, Luke explained “We trained in Scotland near the Cairngorms and then the Yorkshire Dales, and we did lots of little walks with the dog round here (Bedfordshire).”
“I am so incredibly proud of Luke. The walk was all his own idea and he had been excited from the get-go. To be able to share his adventure was amazing; to see his determination and be there to support him when he needed.” Charlotte said: “The shared experience built some amazing memories and I’m sure this won’t be his last challenge.”
Luke said “It felt brilliant finally completing the challenge. I learnt so much about the route as well as myself. My favourite memory is probably paddling in Loch Lomond with mum to cool off our hot, sore feet. Soon I hope to do the Pembrokeshire coast.”
During the hike, Luke and Charlotte were able to raise around £200 by talking about their efforts to fellow hikers – Charlotte had the link to Luke’s fundraising page through a QR code which she used to encourage donations.
Luke’s choice to fundraise for CHUMS stemmed from a desire to fundraise for a smaller, local charity and in particular, one he has known for most of his life as his schools regularly fundraises for CHUMS. He knows people who have benefited from the mental health support they provide.
Nik Demetriades, Charity Director of CHUMS Charity, said “All of us at CHUMS would like to send our heartfelt congratulations to Luke and Charlotte for what they’ve achieved in completing the West Highland Way walk – it’s an incredible achievement! And our message to them is that the amazing sum of money that they’ve raised will be put to good work supporting the work CHUMS does to help children and young people who are struggling with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Thank you Luke – you really are an inspiration to us all!”
Luke and Charlotte may have completed their amazing journey, but there’s still plenty of time to donate to Luke’s Just Giving page.
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