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RecoverMay initiative hits new heights with hike to Perthshire summit

Posted: May 30, 2024
The group during the hike up Ben Vrackie.

A multi-organisational organised walk to show solidarity with those recovering from substance and alcohol misuse and poor mental health saw a number of service users and support workers don their boots to tackle Ben Vrackie.

The walk took place on Saturday (25 May), and was part of RecoverMay – an initiative that takes place over the month of May to raise awareness and recognise the resilience and resolve of those navigating the recovery from addiction and mental health challenges.

Blessed with fine weather for the hike, the group set off from Perth around 9:30 am to take on the five-mile trek, before returning to Perth around 5 pm.

The walk was organised as a multi-organisational effort, involving Hillcrest Futures, NHS, Perth and Kinross Council, social enterprise Scotland All-Strong gym, and local fitness trainer MB Fitness who also treated the hikers to a fun warmup and cooldown.

Alan Hinnrichs, Hillcrest Futures Project Worker, said: “The Ben Vrackie trip was a collaborative effort involving NHS Tayside, IDARS, and Hillcrest.

Some of the hikers at Ben Vrackie’s summit.

“I had the privilege of accompanying individuals in recovery on this hillwalking adventure, and incorporating hillwalking into their recovery routine has a profoundly positive impact on those working their way out of addiction.

Our group consisted of six service users, and the pleasant weather enhanced the experience, allowing everyone to fully appreciate the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

“The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, everyone expressed a desire to participate in similar outings. It’s heartwarming to see how nature and outdoor activities can contribute to healing and well-being.”

Ben Vrackie is a Corbett – a Scottish mountain of between 2,500 and 3,000ft – located near the Perthshire town of Pitlochry. Its summit sits at 841m above sea level, with fantastic views over the Cairngorms, Perthshire and Sidlaw Hills.