Bethan braves a 4,000-foot climb

Bethan Whitelaw is in training for her Ben Nevis trek
Bethan Whitelaw is in training for her Ben Nevis trek

Mum Bethan Whitelaw was sitting having a quiet cup of coffee when she saw a poster going up in a library window asking for charity volunteers.

The poster was publicising the Harborough-based Voluntary Action South Leicestershire’s (VASL) Befriending Scheme which helps isolated older people.

Harborough woman Bethan said:“My nan always told me that loneliness was her biggest problem. I decided I would join VASL’s befrienders to help people in similar circumstances.

“Once at VASL I found out they also run two Young Carers’ Clubs to support local children who have to care for someone at home – anything that helps ease the burden for young carers is worthy of support.”

Bethan is now embarking on a 4,000ft trek up Ben Nevis on August 16 to raise money for VASL.

The mum-of-two said: “It is sure to be a challenge as I have never done anything quite this physically demanding before.

“That’s without factoring in the lack of creature comforts as anyone who knows me will appreciate that being warm and dry is essential to my good humour.”

VASL, based at The Settling Rooms in the Sainsbury’s car park in Harborough, runs a variety of projects such as befriending the elderly and social transport schemes.

Hilary Dunsmore, from VASL’s Good Companions Scheme, said:“We are right behind her, if only figuratively speaking.”

To sponsor Bethan, visit