Hikers lend helping hand

Walkers take a break during the epic trek along the West Highland Way.
Walkers take a break during the epic trek along the West Highland Way.
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A group of walkers who completed the West Highland Way were met at the finish by the grateful young mum they set out to help.

Carfin man Darren Reilly came up with the idea to raise cash for the Lindsay Jarrett Foundation after discovering her plight during last year’s referendum campaign.

He rallied his friends and they decided to tackle the epic 95-mile trail from Milngavie to Fort William.

Lindsay, who is from Kinlochleven, near Fort William, but lived in Motherwell for a spell, suffers from the incurable disease Alpha 1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency. She has three children who are also sufferers.

The condition affects the lungs and liver, and means Lindsay needs oxygen to get around.

She has campaigned to highlight the plight of people like her who have a life-limiting illness but don’t get the financial support they need to help them cope with their symptoms.

Darren, from Carfin, said he became friends with Lindsay after reading of her background on a Yes website.

He said: “It was obvious she was helping lots of other people and I said to some friends it was time something was done for her. They all agreed and we ended up on the West Highland Way this month.”

Darren, Jim Angus, from Bellshill, John Marshall, from Holytown, Cameron Hendry, from Law Village, and Connor Finnigan, from Glasgow, all completed the challenging hike in just four and a half days.

Several others who for one reason or another were unable to tackle the entire route met them at various points to offer support and join them for a section or two.

Darren said: “The rain didn’t stop for the first two days and the section along Loch Lomond on day two was the toughest - we hadn’t realised it was more like rock climbing!

“Weatherwise, day three was better and that was a turning point, and on the plus side at least we didn’t get much trouble from midgies!”

The group, who have had support from throughout Scotland, hope to raise at least £2,000.

Jim and John work for DHL in Bellshill. The company supplied the walkers with t-shirts and will make a cash donation too.