Kids charity duo battle on to John o' Groats
TWO charity walkers managed to complete their Land's End to John o' Groats bid on Monday despite one of them suffering an agonising leg injury.
Duncan Dyason was attempting to raise funds for Street Kids Direct – an organisation based in Central America to help vulnerable children there – when his walking companion, Joseph Soden, found himself struggling with severe tendonitis.
Speaking after the successful walk Duncan said: "This year’s challenge had to change when one of our team became very ill and then change again when Joseph suffered from tendonitis and also had to pull out. It left me alone to complete the walk to John O´Groats."
Duncan was one of the founders of Street Kids Direct in 2001 and it became a UK registered charity in 2004. His work with the street children of Guatemala, however, goes back to 1992 when he moved out to live in Guatemala City with his wife Jenni and baby daughter Katelyn after watching a BBC Everyman documentary called They Shoot Children Don´t They?
"The walks begin four years ago when I walked from Costa Rica to Guatemala and next year’s walk will be to walk Trump´s wall along the border with Mexico.
"The early years of my work were very difficult and dangerous as police were regularly rounding up children for torture and death. I have had to cope with many threats including an attempt on my life by a contract killer."
The balmy afternoon in Lybster seemed a million miles from such dangers but there were still obstacles to be overcome with the last hurdle the next day.
Duncan said: “This trip has been a reflective narrative of our work in Central America in that it is an almost impossible challenge, with many difficulties to confront along the way. But, this is what motivates us to walk like this and we've loved being in Scotland."
Joseph was obviously still in pain from the knee injury and said: "This is my first time in Scotland and I've been overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscapes and the friendliness of the people."
The walking duo both felt that the John o' Groats charity walk would have been impossible without the help and support of others.
"The hundreds of messages of support and donations have been so encouraging," said Duncan.
Information on the charity and how to donate can be found at: www.streetkidsdirect.org.uk