A Perth veteran who served in the first Gulf War will trek the West Highland Way as part of efforts to “give back”.
Peter McIntyre will begin his five-day trek on May 3 in aid of SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.
His 154km (96.7m) trek will begin in Milngavie and end in Fort William, with the veteran carrying 25kg as part of the challenge.
‘I want to give back’
“If the charities weren’t there, people would fall by the wayside,” Peter said.
He believes charities such as SSAFA are crucial in supporting veterans on their return to civilian life.
“I have seen a lot of people being helped by SSAFA. I am a veteran and I want to give back,” he said.
“I will be carrying all of my supplies and bivvying in a small tent or shelter each night, no cushy B&B at night.”
He added: “For me, SSAFA is a one-stop shop really and you phone them up and they will help you. You are only two clicks away really.
“Mental health is a big thing at the moment, especially with the lockdown so it’s important even having someone to chat to.”
Peter has raised almost £1,000 so far on his JustGiving page, smashing his original target of £150.
Meanwhile, Peter is in the process of becoming an SSAFA caseworker to further support veterans and their families.
When veterans approach SSAFA for support, they are allocated a case worker who will guide them.
Its main aim is to provide direct support to individuals in need of physical or emotional care.
Founded in 1885, the charity assists veterans with a range of concerns such as debt, addiction, homelessness and mental health.
Support for veterans
The SSAFA has countless veterans in its 136 years, including Paul Wilkie of Guildtown, just north of Perth.
In December last year, Paul secured a £900 grant from the charity for a new pottery shed, which he hopes will help him overcome his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
He approached local company Gillies and Mackay, who offered him a shed worth £3,500 for his £900.
Paul told The Courier last year: “Since I have left the Army, I have had a really hard life. I don’t want to be another statistic.
“The shed is more than a shed for someone like me with PTSD. It has given me a space – that is how much it means to me.
“I cannot believe the generosity of Gillies and Mackay and thanks SSAFA so much for helping me through this process.”