A group of enthusiastic Marine Engineering trainees from HMS Sultan, in Gosport, Hampshire, have set themselves a hefty challenge for their summer leave, as they attempt to walk over 100 miles in order to raise funds for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity’s (RNRMC).

Starting off their walk at Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, the group will travel along the many ancient paths which combine to make up the 96 mile West Highland Way. Following the completion of the track at Fort William, the trainees will carry on along an additional stretch of paths to reach the top of Britain’s highest peak Ben Nevis.

After entering through the gates of HMS Raleigh in February, in order to pursue a career within the Royal Navy, the group became firm friends. Currently working towards the completion of their Engineering Technician Initial Career Course within the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering, the trainees will eventually join their first operational warships.

Plan of action

Leading into the Summer Leave period the group conferred and quickly came up with a plan of action. Engineering Technician Jamie Cunning said: “We got talking and as we all like walking and thought it would be a good thing to do for charity. We all learned about the RNRMC when we joined the Navy and have seen and heard many good things. The Charity do a lot for Naval personnel both past and present and this is a good way for us to raise awareness of the Charity amongst our friends and family.

“We discussed the best part of the UK to do this and as we are all quite far north and I am quite familiar with walks within the area we decided it (West Highland Way) would be the best place for us to go. It’s a pretty impressive part of the world and with Ben Nevis the biggest mountain in the UK it will be the perfect location to finish at."

North and South

The team of four is made up equally of Scotsmen and Englishman and throughout their training all have remained proud of their roots. Engineering Technician Ross Shand said: “Both Jamie and I are from Aberdeenshire and although we hadn’t met before deciding to join the RN we have been proudly waving the flag for Scotland since and it’s been great to have each others support during training.

“Hopefully the walk will really push us to our limits and we can raise as much money as possible. With our two friends coming from England there will be some friendly banter during the walk, but we will all help each other out to get through it. We see our challenge as a way to give back to the Charity through using one of the most important skills that the Royal Navy has taught us and that’s teamwork.”

Initially setting a fundraising target of just £500, the trainees have already raised more than double the amount and now hope to raise more for the RNRMC as they set about the walk. 

To donate to the team's challenge, please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/thesuperseamen