Scots farmer takes on 'Everest' hike in wellies to raise money for mental health charity

A Scots farmer man has opened up about his struggle with mental health as he takes on a charity challenge that will see him climb an iconic hill 17 times in one day.

Turriff-based Duncan Maclellan will summit the height of Mount Everest on iconic Aberdeenshire hill, Bennachie.

Starting on Saturday 18 May Duncan will walk 195 miles in his wellies. But to reach 8,848m – the equivalent of Everest’s summit height – he will have to walk up and down the hill 17 times, Aberdeen Live reports.

The 30-year-old hopes to raise awareness of the need to speak more openly about men’s mental health while raising funds for agricultural support charity, RSABI.

In an epic double challenge he will then embark on a coast-to-coast walk in July, starting at Aberdeen beachfront and finishing in Morar on the west coast.

The 195-mile route, which he plans to walk while wearing wellies to show support for farmers, should take six to seven days to complete.

A self-employed farmworker and joiner by trade, Duncan understands first-hand the challenges facing farmers and the need for initiatives such as RSABI’s #keeptalking campaign.

It aims to encourage those living within Scottish agricultural communities to reach out and reconnect with loved ones, neighbours and relatives if feeling isolated or lonely.

Speaking ahead of starting his challenges, Duncan said: "Having personal experience with poor mental health, I feel strongly that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the fact it’s okay to talk, and men’s mental health especially is something we all need to keep talking about.

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"Farming can be a very lonely and isolating job and this has been a particularly tough year, so I hope I can raise a good sum of money to help support the fantastic work RSABI is doing in this area.”

Pauline Macmillan, RSABI’s Head of Fundraising, said: "We’re very grateful to Duncan for taking on these ambitious challenges on behalf of RSABI and wish him every success for Saturday.

"We would also like to thank everyone who has donated so far - all money raised will go towards providing vital emotional, practical and financial support to those who need it in Scottish agriculture."

To make a donation or to find out more about Ducan Maclellan’s challenges, click here or text BENNACHIE to 70450 to donate £10.

RSABI provides emotional support, including a free counselling service, as well as practical and financial support.

The free, confidential support service is available 24/7 by calling 0808 1234 555 or using the webchat service on the RSABI website.

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