A Perthshire veterinary nurse is to hike part of the Himalayas this year in aid of Cats Protection.
Lauren Blyth will jet off to Nepal in November to embark on her six-day challenge.
The 25-year-old – a registered veterinary nurse at Thrums in Blairgowrie and Scone – aims to raise £2,000 for the Perth branch of the charity.
Lauren will combine her passion for animals with her love of trekking in her fundraiser, and will donate all money raised to Cats Protection.
She said: “I signed up for the trek last summer because I love hiking and the outdoors, and being able to combine that with raising money for charity is ideal.
“I got to choose that the money will go to the local branch, which I’m really happy about.
“The work they do not just to help cats through schemes like Snip and Chip but to educate cat owners and help with responsible cat care.”
She added: “I am paying for my own flights and things because I don’t want it to be like just a holiday.”
Lauren will spend a fortnight in Nepal, during which time she will also undertake tiger conservation work.
She will learn more about the work being done to project this species of cat.
It comes after a visit to South Africa two years ago on a conservation trip which Lauren says “triggered [her] interest in animal conservation”.
There is plenty of preparation to be done ahead of Lauren’s challenge and she plans to make use of Scotland’s walks as part of her training.
She is planning to walk the West Highland Way and has signed up for a training trek in Snowdonia with Cats Protection.
“If there’s time I’m going to try and squeeze in the Cateran Trail,” she said, “partly because I like that it has ‘cat’ in the name.”
‘We are very grateful’
The Perth Branch of Cats Protection is “very grateful” that Lauren has chosen to raise funds for the charity.
Branch coordinator Corrine Kidd said: “We’re delighted that Lauren has decided to raise funds for Perth Cats Protection.
“The trek will be an amazing experience for her but we appreciate it will take a lot of training, time and effort for which we are very grateful.
“With no events in 2020 it has been hard for any charity to do normal fundraising activities so Lauren’s funds will be very important to branch funds.
“We are totally behind Lauren and her efforts and will be happy to help her in any way we can.”
Donations can be made to Lauren’s fundraiser on her JustGiving page.