Camelon man climbing Ben Nevis seven times in seven days for SAMH

Daring charity fundraiser drawn up as way of thanking relatives and friends

By Jonathon Reilly
Monday, 5th October 2020, 12:30 pm

Grant Williamson’s family and friends “saved” him when difficulties with depression, anxiety and panic attacks led him to consider taking his own life.

The support he received during his darkest days enabled the Falkirk-born man to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it has now inspired him to go to extreme heights to show his gratitude.

The 49-year-old has devised a ‘Seven Summits for Life’ fundraiser, during which he plans to climb 1345-metre-high Ben Nevis every day for a week with the aim of generating cash for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

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Camelon resident Grant Williamson is preparing to climb Ben Nevis seven days in a row for the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Several of his relatives and friends have signed up to the gargantuan charity effort – one that will take Grant beyond the height of Mount Everest.

Former Falkirk FC player Sammy McGivern will also be among the team taking on the challenge in May 2021.

Eighteen months on from counselling sessions and being prescribed medication by his GP, Camelon resident Grant is now back to what he describes as “full health, other than dreaming up daft challenges”.

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He is hopeful even more people will commit to sections of his daring fundraiser in the knowledge their efforts will aid a highly worthy cause.

Grant, who is a regional account manager, said: “My friends and family saved me.

"I want to show people that however bad things may be, there is always a way back.

“At my worst I thought I would lose my job, my house and my family but the company lost me, I got better and it was family, friends and being able to talk to people that got me through.

“I could not give up the great friends and family who were, are and always will be there for me.

“I keep telling others that my door is always open and phone is always on should anyone need to talk.

“I thought it would be a great challenge to take on and, as it was something different, it may gather some decent support, which it has already.”

A series of fundraising ideas, as well as the film Everest, provided Grant with food for thought when he was thinking of ways to help SAMH.

A virtual gig held for Strathcarron Hospice by Grant’s friend Dougie Smith and a tribute concert for close friend George Thom, who died of cancer aged 52 and worked for SAMH, served as motivation.

Grant added: “While George was suffering from cancer, I was suffering from mental illness and he constantly messaged and called to make sure I was okay and just blether.

“I sat in the dark after watching the concert and my thoughts turned to those I knew who lost hope and thought the only way out was to take their own lives.

“I thought of the people they left behind and how it would change their lives forever and although there was nothing I could do to bring these people back, I could maybe do something to let others see that people care.”

Visit the JustGiving page to make a donation.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

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