Hawick’s Caroline Brown is heading for the hills later this month to support a hub for veterans in the town. She’s taking on the West Highland Way to raise funds for FirstLight Trust, a charity helping former members of the armed forces and emergency services adjust to civilian life.
“I joined FirstLight Trust last year as their hub co-ordinator,” says Caroline. “I’ve seen first-hand the amazing difference we make. Veterans have said to me that we make their lives easier, that they’re glad we’re here. We never turn anyone away, we’re there for the long haul and there is no time limit on our support.”
The first hub in Scotland, Hawick is one of the charity’s six hubs across the UK offering support to veterans. No appointment is needed and the hubs are open every day except Sundays. The double as a café for the public and veterans alike. Trained staff help with issues such as dealing with red tape, form filling and debt management. They also offer deeper support with settling back in to civilian life after service, addiction, depression, anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
“Caroline has been such an inspiration for our Hawick veterans,” says Dorinda Wolfe Murray, the founder of FirstLight Trust. “She’s helped set up crafts fairs, stalls at the Trinity Gardens Christmas market, Remembrance Sunday commemorations and a Burns Lunch. Walking 96 miles really is above and beyond her job description, but we’re proud to support her every step of the way!”
The West Highland Way stretches 96 miles (154 km) from Milngavie to Fort William. Its terrain ranges from loch shores to steep mountains. Caroline will start walking the week-long route on 25 April with her friend Sonja and fellow walkers are welcome to join them, even if it’s just for part of the walk. Donations can be made online at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caroline-brown59 or in person at the hub on Hawick High Street.
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Notes to Editors
Hawick’s FirstLight Trust hub is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm at 1-3 High Street, Hawick TD9 9BZ. It contains Sharpe’s coffee bar serving hot drinks and home-made cakes.
You can find out more about this iconic Scottish trail on the West Highland Way website.
Header image is of Loch Lomond on West Highland Way by Katja S. Verhoeven from Pixabay