East Lancashire Hospice

Matt Stevenson's West Highland Way Walk

Matt Stevenson has set himself a challenge - one that will certainly test him, because he has decided to walk 106 miles of the West Highland Way and up to the peak of Ben Nevis for East Lancashire Hospice in just six days in August.

The West Highland Way is a 155km (96 mile) long route, running from Milngavie, north of Glasgow, to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Opened in 1980 as the first official long distance footpath in Scotland.

Matt is not stopping there. After finishing his hike to Fort William, he will then be taking on the climb of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain with a summit of 1345 metres.

Matt is doing the walk in memory of his mother, Carole Stevenson, who used the services at East Lancashire Hospice in August 2018. ““This is a place close to my heart, and gave amazing care to my mother and still does for many others. She loved the gardens, and smiled much more when at the hospice when she was there.”

The hospice supported Matt and his family during his mum’s final months, and she was still at the hospice when Matt’s son, Elijah was born prematurely.  “She only managed to see photographs of her grandson, but that was so much more than we all expected.”

Matt continued; “My target is to raise £1000 on behalf of the hospice, so around a £10 per mile.” Elijah is still too little to join his dad, but his partner, Charlene Ainsworth and Matt know he will want to start going with him soon. “He’s like a box of frogs!” Matt explained.

Matt is doing the trek with the Outdoor Solutions North West, so he is not on his own, but it is still going to be hard going.

The team starts at Milngravie in Glasgow on Day 1 heading to Balmaha; Day 2 takes them to Inverarnan; Day 3 to the Bridge of Orchy; Day 4 to Kinlochleven; Day 5 Fort William, before they tackle Ben Nevis itself on Day 6.

Every day is around 20 miles apart from the last 10 miles up to the peak of Ben Nevis. “The weather will dictate which path we take to the peak, but it is going to be hard going. I am in training already around the Lake District and Snowdonia.”

Matt has set up a Go fund me page: https://­gofund.­me/­309932c6, and his fundraising link can also be found on the East Lancashire Hospice Facebook fundraiser page https://­www.­facebook.­com/­donate/­722220­525­755449/ for those who wish to support him.

Pictured are a young Carole Stevenson, Matt and his son Elijah, and Matt on one of his training treks.

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