Caroline Mckay


Link Community Development Scotland
Link Community Development (LCD) Scotland works to provide quality, sustainable education for children in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda. Our work promotes the health and well-being of young people and gives children the chance to escape the cycle of poverty into which they were born. Every day children in Africa walk for hours just to get to school. Link makes sure their journey is worth it.
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A Winter West Highland Way

Caroline Mckay

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What am I doing?

I'm attempting to run the 95 mile West Highland Way in midwinter for Link Community Development's work in Africa. Having run the West Highland Way Race several times, in midsummer each year, winter conditions will be an entirely new challenge. I'll run north to south, starting from Fort William at 9pm on Friday 16th December, aiming to finish around 7.30pm in Milngavie on Saturday 17th. Will winter conditions beat June's midges for difficulty? Will more darkness hours make the miles dramatically more difficult, or just different? Can I finish in time for last orders? I'll find out soon.


30 million children across Africa don't go to school, and those in school often don't complete it, for reasons including domestic work pressures and early marriage to tiny family income. Reading skills could help millions more escape from poverty (and children whose mothers can read are 50% more likely to live past 5) yet schools are severely under-resourced, with huge class sizes and undertrained teachers.

It's far worse in rural areas, and for girls - boys education is thought to be more important, and girls don't have enough support to stay in school, or even sanitary protection so they can reach school. Many also face unsafe journeys and sexual harrassment to reach secondary school, as there are so few in rural areas.

I was lucky enough to visit schools in impoverished rural areas of Ethiopia recently, and saw the impact of Link Community Development's work first hand. They are a small, grassroots charity working in the heart of communities in Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda and Ghana to help sustainably solve these critical educational challenges, using their experience of improving over 3,000 schools since the 90's. They involve communities in the long-term improvement of their local school, with a focus on better support for girls, and helping authorities improve teaching quality and performance measurement on a low cost and community-led basis - a truly sustainable approach that has been shown to work. Link's latest project in Ethiopia was reviewed as far exceeding all targets set for improving girls' literacy, numeracy, attendance and confidence, and is top rated from 37 DFID-funded projects.

Can you help?

I'd be so grateful if you could sponsor me to give this a go for Link. Your donation will be directed straight through Virgin Money Giving to Link, with no commission taken. Virgin Money Giving is also a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid for charities when each donor is eligible.

Thank you. I'll be sure to keep you updated with gory details :-)

Recent donors

07.03.17 well done this was an epic effort

07.01.17 Well done - glad you made it safely.

07.01.17 I read about this in Round and About Mull from the comfort of my bed in a warm room and couldn't imagine running the West Highland Way at all, let alone doing it in winter! So here's a little donation for a great effort for a great cause...


25.12.16 Gordon and Hazel told me about your run. Well done Caroline, phenomenal.

23.12.16 Well done Caroline, you've done something really incredible. Thanks for letting me be part of it :)

22.12.16 Well done Caroline - admirable effort!

22.12.16 Read your story on BBC news - well done - so impressive!

22.12.16 Great ploy! Congratulations. I lived in Malawi in 1960!

22.12.16 Good on you. Merry Christmas.

21.12.16 Unbelievable! Congratulations!

21.12.16 Congratulations on this amazing feat Caroline- and such brilliant cause. x

21.12.16 Amazing challenge and a great fund-raiser. You get some of my Christmas donation this year. Fi

21.12.16 Amazing effort!

20.12.16 Magnificent! MtM xxx

20.12.16 I am in awe - well done!

20.12.16 Ive tried ultras half this distance and they are insanely tough and almost impossible in daylight let alone in the dark! I would have been terrified men with hooks for hands were going to chase me in the moors. You're such an inspiration! Xxx

20.12.16 Inspirational as always, Caroline :)

19.12.16 Congratulations - you're a Wonder Woman

19.12.16 Congrats Caroline !!

19.12.16 Absolutely amazing Caroline - well done!

18.12.16 Incredible, well done you.

18.12.16 Huge congrats, what an incredible achievement to finish off 2016. Well done you, rest up now & enjoy the festivities. The Girls @ Talking Canvas

18.12.16 Awesome achievement

18.12.16 You did brilliantly, Caroline. We're very proud of you. Xx


Running total

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