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New 30k Inverness challenge to boost Befrienders Highland charity on its 30th anniversary

By John Davidson

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A new charity challenge is aiming to get people talking and walking – or running – to mark a key anniversary and raise awareness of the service's work across the Highlands.

Befrienders Highland is celebrating 30 years of supporting people who are lonely and isolated, and who may be experiencing mental ill health, have memory difficulties or dementia, or carers who need a listening ear.

The befriending service offers direct contact from a trained volunteer, whether it be face to face, over the phone or by email, to help them maintain social contact and help with any worries or concerns.

Jo Page walked the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way back to back in 2021 for Befrienders Highland.
Jo Page walked the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way back to back in 2021 for Befrienders Highland.

The charity is aiming to raise £30,000 to mark its 30th anniversary, and volunteer board member Jo Page, who walked the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way back to back in 2021 for Befrienders Highland, has organised a unique event in Inverness to help towards the total.

She is urging people to sign up to run or walk 30 kilometres – or 18.6 miles – around the Highland capital on April 30.

Jo said: "I have always enjoyed supporting small local charities and I wanted to try and help by sharing my previous fundraising experience and to encourage people to participate and contribute to fundraising activities and raising awareness of the charity.

"It’s a crucial year for Befrienders Highland. This year the charity celebrates turning 30 years old and we are trying to raise funds and awareness with a range of different events to celebrate this huge milestone.

"This exciting new event is aimed at getting people out together, walking and talking whilst training and gathering everyone for a very fun day in Inverness for a great cause. There will be lots of surprises along the way and there will be lots going on for the supporters as well."

Entrants can either pay an upfront £30 entry fee, pay nothing and raise a minimum of £30 or both. All money goes to the charity.

People can also enter in teams of three and there is also a 5km junior route.

The main event will start and finish at An Talla at Dochgarroch and follows the canal and river through Inverness, with the junior event going from Torvean Park in Inverness to Dochgarroch.

More details about the event can be found at www.eventbrite.com/e/30km-for-30k-with-befrienders-highland-tickets-479792160267

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