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Forfar man Andy inspired by aunt Pat Blair to go on Colombian trek for Macmillan

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An Angus travel industry executive has ended 2022 with his own adventure through the South American jungle to Colombia’s Lost City.

Andy Charlton’s trek has raised nearly £4,000 for Macmillan in tribute to the nurses who cared for his Forfar aunty in the final stages of her cancer journey.

London-based Andy, who works with Sky Media, was part of a group which jumped at the opportunity to tackle the trek together.

“We’re a group of friends from the travel industry, all brought together and having known each other for many years,” he said.

“In June this year at the Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT) conference in Istanbul we were chatting and the idea to embark on a charity mission was instigated.”

Lost city trek by Forfar man Andy Charlton

Some of the group have already taken on challenges including climbs to Everest base camp and the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Andy added: “One of the team called their friend who is the MD of G Adventures, the Colombia trip was suggested and agreed within 10 minutes, and we were all set!

“We paid our own way to South America and back so that every penny goes to charity.

Andy Charlton Colombia trek

“Some of the group have raised money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the main charity of ITT.”

But Andy wanted to support a cause close to home in memory of his aunt, Pat Blair, a popular Forfar figure who passed away in 2020.

Pat, who was 74 when she died, was cared for by Macmillan nurses at Lippen Care’s Whitehills palliative care facility in Forfar.

Pat Blair

Her family said the respite time she spent there was a great comfort in the final stages of her life.

Daughter Jane said the setting offered “a cuppie and cake in the company of people who she didn’t have to be brave for – it was precious”.

So Andy was inspired every step of the way on his amazing journey through the steamy jungle of the Sierra Nevada.

Spectacular scenery and testing terrain

He says the trek to Ciudad Perdida was unforgettable.

“We went from camp to camp, passing through the villages of the indigenous tribes,” he said.

“We then came to the Lost City of Teyuna which was an amazing experience.”

Andy started his career in advertising at DC Thomson in 2002 before moving on to a nationals group for almost 15 years.

He then spent a year at a leading media investment firm before joining Sky Media where he looks after travel clients and their targeted TV campaigns.

And when time allows he likes to get back home to Forfar, where his parents, Maureen and Bob, still live.

“I’m delighted with the amount of money I have raised personally for Macmillan and so grateful to everyone who has donated,” said Andy.

And he hopes the total might rise even further through more donations to his JustGiving page.

Source : TheCourier