Buddies are about to embark on the challenge of a lifetime as they seek to raise funds for a Paisley charity close to their hearts.
Kate Cooper, Ryan Laurie, and Gayle Brannigan are set to walk 65 kilometres in temperatures as low as -40 as they trek the Arctic Circle next month.
The brave trio are taking on the challenge in a bid to raise funds for St Mirren FC Charitable Foundation, which is headed up by Gayle.
The organisation hosts a catalogue of support services that bolsters the physical and mental wellbeing of Renfrewshire residents from cradle to grave.
The threesome – including St Mirren Women’s coach Kate, and long-time supporter of the foundation Ryan – are all very familiar with charity’s impact on the community and are determined to raise as much money as possible.
Landing in Finland on January 29, the trekkers will be guided through two days of training and preparations before embarking on the three-day trek on February 1.
They will cover distances of up to 28km per day while trekking over frozen lakes, up snowy hills and across thick forests before camping out in tents over night.
It will test them to their limits, but also, Gayle hopes, offer the adventure of a lifetime.
The impressive CEO has already completed a similar challenge with the Royal Marine Commandos and is giving her fellow Buddies an insight into what they can expect.
She told the Express: “We have to cover specific distances every day in these freezing temperatures and the snow all the while pulling our pulk, which holds all of our kit so the physical and mental challenge will be immense.
“But we know the team building element and the experience will be extraordinary.
“It was certainly the best experience of my life and I hope they all feel the same way once it’s complete.”
They will be guided by experienced company Breaking Strain which has a strong record in the Arctic and has already had several meetings with the team.
The trek however would not be possible without the support of Clarity Accounting.
The business – founded by Paisley businessman Donald Gilmour and wife Katie – has sponsored the trek, meaning even more of the money raised will go directly to the foundation and its lifeline work. Katie told the Express: “We are a new company, we were formed in July and part of our mission is to do as much as possible to help the local community.
“We do a lot of charitable giving and the foundation in particular is very close to our hearts.
“Donald grew up in Foxbar in the 70s and 80s and his family would have been one of those that the foundation would have helped had it been around in those days.
“The fact that the foundation does so much, from toddlers right up to pension age, is really appealing for us.”
She added: “This trek is not something you do every day, it’s going to be a massive physical challenge so the fact that they are willing to do that to support the charity and raise funds is amazing.
“Donald trekked to the Everest base camp recently so he knows about the challenge ahead of them and the dedication that’s involved so we were really keen to support them.”
The money raised from the event will be used to continue the foundation’s work with people living with Alzheimer’s such as its football memories group as well as efforts to tackle food insecurity in young people with initiatives such as Fit and Fed.
If you would like to play your part in helping, please visit the just giving link HERE