A minister will embark on a huge fundraising challenge this weekend to raise money for Christian Aid.
Rev Andrew Kimmitt will run, cycle and kayak the length of the River Spey on Saturday, covering a total of 106 miles – the longest distance he has ever attempted.
He will start on foot at Loch Spey, swap to bike at Garva Bridge and finish by kayak at Spey Bay.
Rev Kimmitt, who became minister at Aberlour Parish Church last October, hopes his Spey in a Day challenge will not only raise money, but awareness about climate change.
He said: “I’m excited about my challenge this weekend, but a bit nervous too.
“I’ll be starting at Loch Spey and running to Garva Bridge, then cycling 135km (83 miles) to Fochabers, swapping my bike for a kayak and paddling the last stretch to Spey Bay. It’s certainly a good way for a newcomer to get to know this beautiful part of Scotland.”
‘Climate justice is a big focus of Christian Aid’
Rev Kimmitt, 30, was motivated by the impact of climate change in Kenya, particularly by the story of Rose, a grandmother who is forced to walk for six hours to a dam to collect water for her family.
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He said: “Climate justice is a big focus of Christian Aid Week this year and I wanted to commit to a challenge which would link the water we have all around us in Speyside with the lack of water in some parts of the world caused by climate change.
“How lucky we are to be surrounded by rivers and lochs which never run dry, yet in Kenya people have to walk for six hours every day to find water. No one should have to walk that far to get the water they need.”
Val Brown, head of fundraising at Christian Aid Scotland, said the pandemic had worsened the situation for so many people like Rose.
“This Christian Aid Week we come together as one community against global poverty and injustice,” she said.
“We remember people like Rose in Kenya, for whom climate change means no water and a long walk in the heat, often with an empty stomach. And of course the pandemic has meant access to water is even more critical.”
Spey in May
Other Christian Aid supporters will also be taking to the River Spey this month. As part of a wider Spey in May challenge, they will be walking sections of the river throughout the month to fundraise.
Among those is Rev Jenny Adams, minister of Duffness, Spynie and Hopeman Church, who aims to run and walk the full length of the river in the course of the month.
Christian Aid are also running a 300,000 steps challenge in May for those who don’t live in the area.
To support Rev Kimmitt’s fundraising, click here.