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War veteran’s hilltop challenge raises £5000

Police officer Lionel Holmes has raised more than �5000 for charity after spending three nights on Bennachie.

Police officer Lionel Holmes has raised more than �5000 for charity after spending three nights on Bennachie.

A war veteran has raised more than £5000 for charity after spending three nights alone and without shelter on Bennachie.

Lionel Holmes, 50, experienced gale-force winds on his first night at the summit of the Garioch peak for his Mountain Squat Challenge.

The police officer, from Newburgh, was raising money for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and is amazed at how much he has gathered.

He told the Times: “I was looking at about £1000 so to raise this amount is tremendous.

“I’m grateful for all the support I have had both from donations and from those who helped to spread the word about the challenge.”

The father-of-two, who left the military four years ago after 30 years’ service, said his first night on Bennachie was the worst.

He had a sleeping bag, warm clothing and food for his 72-hour hilltop stint.

Lionel said: “The wind was really strong on Friday night and I could not get to the top and had to huddle just below the summit.

“But it was not cold and Saturday and Sunday were beautiful days.

“I have to say it was a bit lonely at one point, but I had a radio and mobile phone and saw some people towards the end of the challenge.

“I think they got quite a surprise to see me!”

 

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