A CONTROL-room firefighter from Inverness will be taking part in a gruelling charity challenge to "give something back" to the Highland Hospice.
Jamie Wardlaw (26) has wanted to support the hospice since he was a child and witnessed the level of care provided to his grandad, Norman Wardlaw.
Mr Wardlaw was admitted to the hospice in Inverness but died in 2001 following a battle with cancer.
His family were touched by the care, empathy and professionalism of the staff but Jamie Wardlaw was too young at the time to raise funds in his grandfather’s memory.
Now, alongside two family friends – father and son duo Jim and Calum McManus – the 26-year-old is hoping to complete the Highland Cross, which will see him cycle 30 miles and run 20 miles to raise funds for the cause that is close to his heart.
"The atmosphere in the Highland Hospice was happy and warm – and the staff were phenomenal, they were great with my grandad," Jamie said.
"I’ll always be grateful to the staff for their help, they were brilliant."
He has admitted that he hates running but that it "feels amazing" to finally be able to raise funds for the charity.
Mr Wardlaw now serves as a control crew manager and is a member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s operations control team.
He handles emergency calls from the public and co-ordinates emergency responses to keep people safe, such as the recent spate of wildfires that took hold across the country.
He is based in Edinburgh now but moved to Dundee when the Highland control room closed.
His co-runners, Jim and Calum McManus, have run the Highland Cross a combined six times, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process but this will be Jamie’s first attempt.
Together the three men will race as The Cullodeneers.
He said: "I’m really looking forward to the challenge – on the day itself I just hope it’s not too warm!
"I’m not going for a crazy time or anything, I’ll just be more than happy just to finish – as a team we will stick together throughout."
Libby Logan is an area manager for the fire service and was not surprised to hear about Jamie’s latest fundraising challenge.
She said: "Our dedicated operations control staff are resilient, calm under pressure – and utterly committed to protecting our communities.
"This is a very fitting way for Jamie to remember his grandfather by supporting the very people who cared for him, enabling them to continue to carry out their invaluable work."
To donate to Jamie’s challenge or find out more visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thecullodeneers