CHILDREN and staff from Barrhead High reached new heights in their fundraising efforts after a sponsored hill climb was grounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

The school has been running an annual trip to Conic Hill, which rises above Balmaha, on the eastern side of Loch Lomond, since 2015.

However, lockdown restrictions meant this year’s charity climb wasn’t possible – so the fundraisers looked closer to home for ways to bring in much-needed cash.

Pupils, staff and parents were challenged to walk the same distance or climb the same height as Conic Hill – bringing Balmaha to Barrhead.

That led to a number of volunteers visiting local beauty spots such as the Dams to Darnley Country Park, The Craigie and Rouken Glen Park to clock up their miles, whilst observing lockdown rules at the same time.

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And their efforts have raised vital funds for the Include Me 2 Club, which supports people who have disabilities or additional support needs.

Andy Sinclair, headteacher at Barrhead High, said: “We started this annual walk at the time of the massive earthquake that happened in Nepal five years ago. Some of our young pupils heard about it in the news and wanted to do something to help.

“We sat down and came up with the idea of an annual walk up Conic Hill that would be sponsored and we were keen to have it as a community event, so we had pupils, staff and parents involved.

“We repeat the event every year and use it to support different charities.

“This year, because of Covid-19, one of the members of staff came up with the idea of encouraging the pupils, staff and parents to go out and do a walk of the same length or climb the height of Conic Hill.

“We set everyone the challenge to complete it within a week and encouraged them to send in pictures and videos of them doing it.

“It has been very successful.”

Mr Sinclair played his part by climbing Ballageich Hill, which goes up into the Eaglesham Moors.

“It was nice to get out,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Include Me 2 Club thanked everyone at Barrhead High for their generous support, describing their fundraising efforts as “fantastic.”

“We appreciate Barrhead High School for being part of our community and supporting our work through fundraising and links to our young volunteers programme,” added the spokesperson.

For more information about the work being done by the charity and how you can offer your support, visit here.