Six members of staff and a resident at an Alness care centre are aiming to reach the peak of fitness – to take on the tough challenge of scaling Ben Nevis.

Catalina House – which has 27 rooms to care for adults with mental health issues – is among 11 Scottish homes owned by the St Philip’s Care group and another 17 in England braced to take part in the Three Peaks challenge.

While the Catalina crew’s part of the fund-raising drive is to stride to the top of the 4,411ft highest peak in the British Isles on June 1, their English colleagues will tackle Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Mount Snowdon in Wales.

The Catalina House Care Centre will use the gruelling 10-mile adventure to raise cash to share between creating a sports area where its residents can play football and a donation towards the Evanton Community Wood project in Ross-shire

Claire Colgan, aged 35, deputy manager at Catalina House Care Centre, said: “Both are wonderful causes and the challenge is also great for pulling the team together and getting us fit.

“Personally I hope it will help me to lose a bit of weight and part of my training is to walk to and from my home and Catalina House each day.”

Other members of staff joining in the project are Miss Colgan’s 32-year-old sister, Carol-Anne Colgan, who is activities co-ordinator, 20-year-old care support worker Chloe Leat, Amy Alexander, aged 20, who is a bank support worker, 19-year-old care support worker Saffron Ross and administrator Emma Tattersall, aged 40.

Fifty-year-old resident Darren Sparks has also started training with the members of staff, which includes regular walks up local beauty spot Fyrish Hill.

Miss Tattersall said: “I am looking forward to the challenge very much and have started walking everywhere, including the one and a half miles from home to work every day.”

And Miss Ross said: “I’m really up for it and we’re enjoying the training.”

St Philip’s Care Scottish regional manager Claire Cameron, who is also among staff across the country taking part in the challenge, said: “We thought it would be a fantastic way to get staff at all of our homes pulling together for great causes.

“Not only will our staff be fitter but they will also be raising money for causes of their choice, including projects to add to the wellbeing of residents at their own homes.”

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