California resident taking on West Highland Way and North Africa's highest mountain for charities

An ICT analyst has developed an energy-sapping training programme as he gets set to take on the West Highland Way in support of a children’s charity.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:13 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:55 pm

Haseeb Akhtar, of California in Falkirk district, will walk the famous 96-mile route to aid the efforts of Possibilities for Each and Every Kid (PEEK).

The Glasgow organisation has delivered crisis response support to vulnerable children, young people, and families across the city since last March, helping 3285 children and young people and 1657 adults in that time.

The charity has also handed out almost 240,000 meals and fresh fruit and veg boxes, recipe boxes, well-being products, household support, fuel top-ups and activity packs.

California resident Haseeb Akhtar is training for the West Highland Way and a trek of Mount Toubkal in aid of charity. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Haseeb, 33, and friend Andy Murray, 36, from Torrance, have been rambling for between ten and 20 miles each weekend in the lead-up to the seven-day fundraising mission.

Starting on May 22, the Milngavie to Fort William hike will serve as perfect preparation for Haseeb, as he’s also signed up to scale Mount Toubkal in Morocco, North Africa's highest mountain, to help those facing emergency situations beyond coronavirus.

The North African trek had originally been scheduled to take place last summer, however, Covid restrictions pushed the fundraiser back until September this year.

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Funds from the expedition will go towards the Penny Appeal Emergency Response programme, which helps people in places like Syria, Yemen and Southern Africa survive war, famine and natural disasters.

Having never taken on anything of the magnitude of either the West Highland Way or Mount Toubkal, East Dunbartonshire Council employee Haseeb is only focusing on getting fit and coining in cash for his chosen charities.

He said: “Walking the West Highland Way was actually Andy's idea as at that point I really didn't know much about it.

“When we started looking into it, we decided if we do a challenge like this, that is physically and mentally challenging, why not do it to raise money for a good cause?

“PEEK does great work with children, young adults and their families and with the current Covid situation going on, the work they do is now needed more than ever before.

“We want to thank family, friends and colleagues for their generous donations.”

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