She last camped in her back garden age 10, but now Dundee teacher Jane Chiverton is preparing to take on a five-day outdoor challenge to raise money for a breast cancer charity, after losing two close friends to the disease.
The mum-of-two from Gauldry in Fife, will be taking part in the 100km Coppafeel Come Fly with Gi trek in September along with celebrities Emma Willis and Giovanna Fletcher, in the Scottish Highlands.
Jane and 80 other volunteers, will be spending five days in Glen Lyon, camping in between taking on the hikes around the area, including Schiehallion and Ben Lawers.
Jane, 52, added: “There is another day where we have to take on three Munros in one day which I’m really not looking forward to – especially as someone who is scared of heights! I think the longest day is a 26km trek in the one day.
“Then we all go back to the base camp and sleep there for the night. I think the last time I went camping it was in the back garden and I was 10 years old.
“But it wouldn’t be a challenge if it wasn’t difficult. There would be no reward in it. You need it to be challenging. I think the biggest challenge will be, not actually doing it, but getting back up the next day to do it all over again.”
Walking with celebs
Jane, who works at Kingspark School in Dundee, said she was excited to have TV presenter Emma Willis and author Giovanna Fletcher as team leaders.
“They are both patrons of the charity,” Jane explained, “and Giovanna does these charity treks all over the world.”
The 2020 trek was postponed due to Covid, and the 2021 trek is taking place in the Highlands due to Covid restrictions.
Jane said: “I’m delighted about it being in Scotland because I love Glen Lyon. There’s lots of that area I just wouldn’t tackle on my own. But this will have experienced walk leaders that are coming with us, medical people – all the stuff I’ll probably need.”
Jane said that taking part in the trek is incredibly important to her, after losing two close friends to breast cancer.
She said: “I’ve not suffered from breast cancer myself but I’ve had two very good friends who have died of breast cancer.
“So I’m doing it for them. It was the anniversary of one of their deaths when I saw the advert for this. I think it was just always meant to be.
“Cancer is a savage disease and one woman every 10 minutes is diagnosed with breast cancer. So it’s really scary. One in two of us are now going to be affected by some form of cancer.”
Fundraising for Coppafeel
Jane is aiming to raise £2,500 for Coppafeel, the breast cancer education charity.
The charity go out into schools, colleges and universities to get both women and men used to checking their chest and pecks.
They focus on encouraging younger people to get into the habit of checking themselves for lumps – as the charity highlights that a growing number of people they help have been in their 20s.
They also have a text message service to remind people once a month to check their breasts and pecs.
To prepare for the 100km trek, Jane has not only been trying to complete a 10km walk every day, but the teacher is fundraising hard for it, as each person involved in the trek has to raise £2,500.
She said: “At the moment, fundraising is a bit more stressful than the trek itself.
“I work at a school in Dundee and I did a raffle there before the summer holidays. In three days we managed to raise £300. So that was fantastic.
“I’ve been reaching out to local businesses to donate prizes as I’m going to do a raffle in August – but to be honest I’m not getting much success with that. So that’s a bit disheartening though I understand it.
“The fundraising goes quite well initially but then the people who are donating have donated and it falls off. So it’s a bit stressful.”
But Jane hopes in the end it will all be worth the stress.
She added: “This is a fantastic charity and a fantastic cause. And if it raises awareness with even just one person, it will all be worth it.”
If you’d like to donate to Jane’s fundraiser, you can do so here.