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Oban firefighters Dougie Black and Jamie Watson are picking up their poles and setting out to walk the 185 miles of the Hebridean Way, setting themselves the target of 10 days to make the distance.

Dougie and Jamie will be walking in aid of three carefully-selected charities – MND Scotland, the Firefighters’ Charity, and the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust

They’re planning to walk the length of the Outer Hebrides, from Vatersay to Stornoway, crossing 10 islands, six causeways, and two stretches of water by ferry; tramping over rugged hills, across beaches, and empty moorland throughout the journey.

Their charities have been chosen for very specific, personal reasons. In 2020, Dougie's cousin Brian MacDonald, a firefighter in Glasgow, lost his fight with MND aged 43.

The Firefighters’ Charity means a great deal to both men, and many of their colleagues have received support for the mental, physical, and social needs of all serving and retired members of the UK's fire family.

They have also chosen the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust, which advances musical education for children and young people in rural areas, in memory of Barra girl Eilidh Macleod, who died in the Manchester Arena bombing.

The pair have been training hard ahead of their crossing on Sunday (14 August) to Barra, with a start planned for Tuesday morning in Vatersay.

You can donate to support them via any of the three charities or at their own fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hebridean-way, where they have set a target of £5,000 for their 10-day effort. 

Picture from Dougie Black and Jamie Watson.