A WHITCHURCH resident will be going the extra mile for charity – 45 of them, in fact.

Andrew Smith, 60, from Whitchurch, will be trekking across the Highlands of Scotland from Braemore Junction on the Inverness to Ullapool road to Lochinver, camping beneath the stars for five nights in May and, weather permitting, crossing two peaks.

This walk is the fifth that Andrew will have taken part in, having previously done walks in that area of the Highlands, starting from Mallaig in 2003, with the goal of eventually finishing at Cape Wrath.

Andrew is looking forward to starting, but is aware of how long the route is.

He said: “While I’m looking forward to it, the whole journey does seem a bit ambitious.

While 45 miles may not sound like a huge distance, the point to bear in mind is that this will be in difficult terrain in the Highlands, which will slow me down.”

Andrew is doing the trek to help raise money for the Amar Foundation, a charity that provides aid to poor and disadvantaged people in the Middle East, especially those who have been displaced in Iraq. All of Andrew’s previous hikes have been in aid of Amar, which is a cause he believes in.

“I felt like the West bore some responsibility for what happened back then and I wanted to do something to help,” Andrew explained.

“My first trek in 1997 was in aid of Amar as well. I have actually spoken to the founder of the charity, Baroness Emma Nicholson, several times when I have done my previous walks. She mentioned to me about doing another trek for the benefit of the foundation, so here I am raising money for them again, which is a pleasure.

“It will be lovely to see the beautiful scenery in the remote areas. The midges can be a problem in my experience, but hopefully the time of year I’m going will mean that I won’t get too many, although the weather can be quite fresh and variable.”

Andrew is currently training by running with a pack about the same weight as he’ll carry on the trek, about 45lb.

His fundraising target is £900, roughly the equivalent of £550, which is what he raised on his first trek.

To donate, you can visit his JustGiving page here