An animal-loving teenager is taking on a gruelling eight day coast-to-coast trek to raise funds for pets in need.
Ben Atkin, 14, from Pershore in Worcestershire, will hike the equivalent of a marathon a day on the 200 mile challenge across the breadth of Scotland, starting on Saturday, 26 August.
The student, who has been a dedicated volunteer at his local Blue Cross shop for the past year, will be joined by his dad Ian on the arduous journey covering the mountainous terrain between Portpatrick on the west coast and Cockburnspath on the east coast.
Passionate about helping pets in need, Ben helps at the charity shop by sorting out donated stock, filling shelves and checking DVDs and computer games for damage before they go on sale. He even steps in to wear heavy pet mascot costumes on shop open days.
Ian said: “Ben has always loved animals and just wants to do whatever he possibly can to help pets in need. It has actually been a bit of a problem during our training as whenever we bump into an animal of any species he has to stop and say hello.”
While already beating his £400 target, thanks to strong local support, Ben is keen to raise as much as he possibly can towards the thousands of homeless, abandoned, sick and injured pets cared for by Blue Cross each year.
Liz Martin, Assistant Manager at the Blue Cross Pershore Shop said: “We are all just so proud of Ben. He is a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer in the shop, always willing to help out and a valued member of the team. We hope animal lovers get behind him and show their support by donating to this brave challenge.”