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A Kintyre man is overwhelmed by the support he has received since he announced his plans to be the first person to reach the summit of Ben Nevis in a special wheelchair.
David MacPherson junior, 44, from the Moy, who survived a life-changing car accident more than 20 years ago which affected his mobility, is planning to conquer the UK’s highest mountain in a wheelchair designed by the charity JAPES: Joelette And People Experiences.
JAPES is a non-profit social inclusion project, founded with the aim of allowing people with mobility challenges to experience the thrill, excitement and camaraderie of taking part in mass participation running events, using its specially designed wheelchair – the Joelette – powered by a small team of volunteer runners/walkers.
The charity has helped people reach the summits of Mount Snowdon and Ben Lomond in the Joelette but not yet Ben Nevis.
David is hoping to take on the Ben Nevis challenge in June 2021 and will be joined by his dad, David senior, as well as volunteers from JAPES and Lochaber Mountain Rescue team.
Anyone fit and able enough, or willing to put in the necessary training before the event, is welcome to join them on the climb.
David and his dad plan to organise some events to raise funds as they prepare to take on this incredible feat but they are also appealing to members of the community and local businesses to sponsor them.
Banners from the main sponsors will be taken on the climb and displayed at the top of Ben Nevis as well as being advertised on social media.
David junior said: ‘The money raised will be given to key workers, such as hospital staff and carers, who have worked throughout these challenging and unprecedented times. I plan to give them vouchers for a meal with their partners as a thank you for all their hard work.
‘Some of the funds will be donated to Lochaber Mountain Rescue which will be supporting us throughout this challenge.’
David senior added: ‘I’m incredibly proud of David for taking on this challenge. JAPES is bringing a Joelette to Campbeltown on November 7 and David is going to go up and down the Main Street to show off the wheelchair and promote the challenge.
‘Anyone who wishes to come along – in a physically distanced manner, of course – is welcome.’
A special bank account has been set up to allow people to donate money directly to the challenge. The account name is ‘Ben Nevis Challenge’, the sort code is 82-61-20 and the account number is 40025200.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07873 333184 for further information.