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The great wilderness challenge

The great wilderness challenge
Reading Time: 3 minutes

On Saturday 12th August, Norma Mackenzie of our Inverness branch, Highland Office Equipment, will be undertaking the Great Wilderness Challenge.  Norma will be walking the 13 miles from Aultbea to Poolewe in aid of the Samaritans.

Great Wilderness Challenge

The great wilderness challenge dates back to 1986 and was formed by a group of friends from Poolewe and Aultbea.  Initially set up to raise funds after plans were made to offer hospice care in the Highlands.  The first 25 mile walk was supported by 178 walkers and raised over £6,000 for the Highland Hospice Appeal.  The event was initially a one off, but following the success of the walk it has become an annual event.  Over 500 people now take part every year in the great wilderness challenge. Over the years they have raised in excess of an outstanding £3.6m.

Most people have heard of the Samaritans, but are maybe not aware of what they actually do.

Norma has been a listener (Volunteer) with the Samaritans Inverness branch for 10 years now and finds it both rewarding and at times extremely challenging. She is passionate about what the Samaritans do and proud to be part of such a worthwhile organisation.

Fundraising for the Samaritans at the Great Wilderness Challenge

Norma Mackenzie GWC

Norma said “The Samaritans mission vision and values is that fewer people die by suicide.  In 2015 there were over 6,500 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland, the majority being males.

For around 60 years now Samaritans have been offering a safe place for people of any age, to talk at any time in their own way, without being judged, about whatever is causing distress in their lives. Many people struggle with mental health problems, gender issues, anxiety, depression self-harm, loneliness.  The list is endless.  They are in despair as they are often alone, have no one to confide in or empathise with them and when they feel no one cares, Samaritans care.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year and also provide support by phone, e-mail, text and face to face.  As well as giving talks locally at schools, and organisations like Rotary Clubs, they also train prisoners to be listeners so they can in turn provide emotional support within the prisons.

Samaritans listen, they care and they do not judge. They provide emotional support nationwide at 201 centres staffed and run by volunteers.

The money I raise will go straight to the Inverness branch so that we can continue to offer support to those who so desperately need it.

During 2016 the branch received contact from 14,100 callers.  Last month 424,855 contacts were received Nationwide.

Samaritans phone number is 116 123 or email

Thank you in advance for all your donations which can be made at BTmydonate Samaritans of Inverness.”

If you would like to sponsor Norma, please visit the BTmydonate page and click on Donate to Charity box and put in Samaritans of Inverness





Posted in CSR, Inverness

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