Former Brechiner, Reverend Dave Slater, is set to undertake a mammoth cycle challenge all in the aid of charity on Thursday (May 9).
Dave, who is now minister of Gartcosh and Glenboig churches in North Lanarkshire, will embark on a bike ride in Malawi to help raise funds for the Mulanje Hospital Primary Healthcare Project.
The bike ride has been organised by charity EMMS International, and Classic Tours are responsible for the bike tour itself.
Dave will be joined by 27 other riders, who come from all different walks of like - included in the group is a doctor, a journalist and septuagenarian who has already done a Malawi bike challenge before.
EMMS undertake a Malawi bike ride biannually, and this is their fifth one, and will coincide with the bicentenary of David Livingstone’s birth. He discovered both Lake Malawi and Mount Mulanje, both of which are destinations on the cycle.
The route Dave and his fellow riders will take is from Monkey Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi, via the Liwonde National Park, Zomba and Blantyre to the slopes of Mount Mulanje in the south of Malawi.
During the challenge, fund-raisers will have a chance to visit the hospital they are raising money for.
Speaking about his decision to undertake the challenge, Dave said: “I took it on for several reasons - including trying to get fit/lose weight, to encourage my two congregations in their World Missions work, and as an opportunity and experience to visit Africa. I have visited Ghana previously on a student exchange, and my Dad grew up in Kenya - my aunt and several uncles were born there.”
So far, Dave has raised an incredible £1,430.40 (£1,579.25 including gift aid), through online and offline donations.
He commented: “Fund-raising efforts for me have included having a brass neck and asking just about any of my parish, friends, family or colleagues for sponsorship, shaving off half my beard, and then the other half, support from local churches, schools, community groups and I have used Facebook www.facebook.com/DaveinMalawi, an attempt at a blog daveinmalawi.blogspot.co.uk and BT Mydonate mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/daveslater to try and raise awareness and funds.”
Dave has admitted that training for the challenge hasn’t been that easy. He said: “It’s busy trying to be a husband of one, dad of two, minister of two parishes and do all this as well!
Training has been less consistent than I would have liked but I think I’ll manage it - just not sure how sore I’ll be on my return!”
If you would like to sponsor Dave, please go to mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/daveslater.