Fabulous four AFCCT Munro baggers take on the magnificent seven in aid of Brighter Futures
Liz Bowie, chief executive of Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) is taking part in an epic Munro challenge to raise funds for the new Brighter Futures legacy fund. Set up in memory of former AFCCT chairman, Duncan Skinner who died in April 2021 after losing a year-long battle with cancer, the fund will support the Trust’s work with young people, including a year-long programme to help 14-18 years olds reach their full potential.
Joining Liz on the challenge, which will take in a magnificent seven Munros all within 24 hours, will be three of Duncan’s friends, Mark Wilson of Space Solutions, Iain Landsman of CBRE and Eric Harper. AFC commercial director, Rob Wicks, is hoping to take part but is currently dealing with an injury sustained while competing in an ultramarathon last weekend. Should he not be able to participate fully, he still intends to be involved as part of the group’s support team.
The challenge will begin on July 19 – which would have been Duncan’s birthday – and, over the course of the following day, will cover 35 miles taking in five of the six highest Munros in Scotland.
The team will set off at 2am in darkness, using head torches, to complete the first leg of the journey on the flat from Linn of Dee Car Park to Derry Lodge before starting their first hill walk on Derry Cairngorm. That will be followed by Ben MacDui, Cairngorm, Braeriach, Angels Peak, Cairn Toul and Devils Point before they retrace their steps back to the car park.
Liz Bowie, chief executive of AFCCT said: “Duncan was a keen hillwalker and Munro bagger. We can think of no better way to raise money for the fund, in his name, than this challenge.
“Personally, as a novice hillwalker, I will be pushing myself to my limit, but I’ve got great support from the rest of the team, who have been very patient with me on the practice runs we have been doing over the last few weekends.
“I hope that Trust and Club supporters, as well as others who knew Duncan or are aware of the work of the Trust, will get behind us with donations. They can be guaranteed that every penny will go towards our work in helping young people reach their goals.”
Duncan’s close friend and fellow Munro-bagger, Mark Wilson, added: “We are overwhelmed that AFC Chairman Dave Cormack and two prominent businessmen, all friends of Duncan’s, have already pledged £35,000 towards this challenge.
“We are hoping that others will be inspired to join them and help us to raise as much as we can in support of this fantastic cause. Duncan believed deeply in helping young people to succeed and the Brighter Futures programme is exactly what he would have wanted. The fact that the volunteering these young people will do during their time on the programme will support the wider community is fantastic. Duncan would have loved it.”
The Brighter Futures Fund, which was instigated by a £20,000 donation from Duncan earlier this year, supports the Trust’s work with young people and includes a year-long Youth Ambassador programme that gives 14-18 year olds the chance to gain essential life experiences, skills and qualifications which might otherwise not be available to them, improving their chances of securing employment and reaching their full potential. Around 50 young people have benefited through the programme, but the Trust had no funding stream to continue and expand it until now. The Brighter Futures fund will not only enable the programme to restart, but its content will be augmented as a fitting tribute to Duncan Skinner.
With a fund-raising target of £100,000, the Trust has already secured almost £32,000 and thanks to generous donations from the AFC chairman and other individuals a further £35,000 has been pledged for the Munro Challenge. AFCCT is now well over halfway towards their goal which will see this programme funded for the next five years, benefitting young people and the wider community.
Working with AFC, the Munro walkers are reaching out to fans, businesses and the wider community to ask for their support to reach the target of £100,000. A Just Giving Page for donations has been set up here: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/AFCCTMagnificent7