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Scots help fundraising sailors

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by Shelley Queen

“We won’t forget Glasgow in a hurry”

(L-R)  Russ Simpson, David Gray, Brad Morton, Steve Weaver &  Dean Latham

(L-R) Russ Simpson, David Gray, Brad Morton, Steve Weaver & Dean Latham

A Glasgow call centre opened up it’s offices to five abandoned sailors taking part in a challenge to raise money for charity.

The five men from HMS Sutherland were left to fend for themselves at Cromarty port in Invergordon on Monday, set with the task of making their way down to Plymouth before 9am on Friday, when their boat is expected to dock.

With only their charity tins, ID cards and charm to assist them on their journey, they are relying on public goodwill to beat their colleagues and raise as much money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as they can.

Luckily for the team, a phone call from a sales adviser made their challenge a great deal easier.

Master At Arms Dean Latham said: “I got a call from one of the sales staff at 1calldirect when we were in Inverness, who had phoned me to try and sell me an iPad”

“I got talking to him and I told him what we were doing and said if your company could help in anyway it’d be fantastic and he said ‘I’ll see what I can do.’”

“I got phone call back saying if you can get to Glasgow we’ll give you food, shelter, accommodation and a pint to go with it”

When the five sailors arrived at the call centre at 8.30 Monday night, they were fed, watered and given the bright orange van of Paul Jones, the call centre owner, to make their way down south to complete their journey.

They also have to complete a number of extra tasks in order to raise more money. Each additional task they manage to do has a charity donation attached to it.

Petty Officer (Above Water Tactical) Russell Simpson said: “We have personal challenges and affiliated challenges -we’ve just been to Stirling to see the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders – that was an affliated army barracks which we went to which was a ships challenge.”

“Some of us guys have got individual ones – I’ve got to go on national tv without my beard.”

“We’ve got to try and shake hand with the PM, we’ve got to try and have tea with a mayor or MP, we’ve got to try and get in a puma helicopter… which’ll probably take us onto the next one where we’ve got to get a ride in a police car. So all these challenges we’ve got to try and get to.”

They have received a wealth of help with the first leg of the journey, which they initially expected to be the hardest, from the general public.

“The generosity in Scotland has been overwhelming” said Leading Chef Brad Morton.

“Even from the beginning we went to a shopping mall and we got a road map from Waterstones, a car charger, and Costa gave us coffee”

“Scotland’s literally sorted us out”

The team of five hope to raise over £5000. Their donation page is available here

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