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A long way to go

| Written by Shetland News

Lerwick lifeboat coxswain Bruce Leask welcomes Carol Smithard to the station - Photo: Malcolm Younger/Millgaet Media Lerwick lifeboat coxswain Bruce Leask welcomes Carol Smithard to the station - Photo: Malcolm Younger/Millgaet Media A LONG distance walker is under way to complete a 1,500-mile walk the length of the UK has been to both of Shetland’s lifeboat stations in Aith and Lerwick.

Carol Smithard plans to visit 43 RNLI stations as part of her Wee Walk attempting to raise £20,000 for the national lifeboat institution.

The environmental consultant has taken a year out first to do some marine studies in the British Virgin Islands but also “to do something good”.

Carol Smithard with Aith lifeboat coxswain Hylton Henry - Photo: Elizabeth Wark/RNLI Carol Smithard with Aith lifeboat coxswain Hylton Henry - Photo: Elizabeth Wark/RNLI Choosing the RNLI as the charity to support was simple, she said, as she knew of people who had been helped by the lifeboat and also had friends who worked as volunteers.

“I am trying to raise a lot of money for people who do good things. The vast majority of people working for the RNLI are volunteers who give up their time on a regular basis to do good things for other people,” she said.

As part of her epic journey the 33-year old from Dumfermline also plans to climb the highest peaks of Shetland, England, Wales, Scotland and Orkney.

The solo walker started her walk at the north tip of Unst on Saturday, crossing Yell on Sunday, and conquered Ronas Hill on Tuesday before continuing to Brae.

On Wednesday Smithard visited the lifeboat station in Aith and then set off to meet coxswain Bruce Leask at the Lerwick on Thursday morning.

She has now arrived at Sumburgh and is due to fly out of Shetland on Friday to continue her ‘wee walk’ from Land’s End on Monday.

“I have worked in Shetland for two years. So I knew what the weather could be like. That’s why I wanted to do Shetland first and during the summer,” she said.

Once under way from Land’s End she will slowly work her way up north and plans to finish her long distance walk at the Longhope lifeboat station, in Orkney, in about four months.

Her progress can be followed through her blog at http://carolsweewalk.wordpress.com  

To help her achieve her fundraising goal donations can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/carolsweewalk

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