AS Lauren McAdam reached the top of Ben Nevis for what was her third and final peak of a gruelling challenge she stopped for a moment to think of her father.

Joined by her fiancé David and two friends for what was a poignant moment, Ms McAdam raised a small glass of champagne as a toast to Bryce who died from coronavirus in May at the age of just 62.

After learning about The Herald’s memorial garden campaign to create a place where families can go to remember loved ones, the community nurse from East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, wanted to do something to help us reach our £50,000 target.

She took on the arduous Three Peaks Challenge, Mount Snowdon, in Wales, Scafell Pike, in Cumbria, and Ben Nevis, in the Highlands and raised £4250 in the process which she has very kindly donated to our campaign. Ms McAdam’s donation marks an important milestone as we have now raised £31,600.

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“We got to the top of Ben Nevis and you couldn’t see a thing,”said Ms McAdam. “There was snow and ice and I had slipped a couple of times on the way up. I just felt overwhelmed and felt very emotional. I was about to cry but then I think I was so dehydrated there was nothing there.

“It felt amazing to have finished the final peak and it was very special that the last one was Ben Nevis. Our friends Nicola and Brian Booth joined us and carried a bottle of champagne all the way to the top. Lots of people leave little mementoes and we left a shell at the top for my dad. I was very proud to have done it and I think my dad would have been proud as well.”

The best laid plans for the challenge did not quite go as envisaged. They had arranged to have a designated driver with them so they could rest between peaks, but he was injured just before the trip. New restrictions were also coming into force in Wales when they were setting off to had to quickly change their route.

“We were planning to do Ben Nevis first, but when we saw what was happening in Wales there was a quick change of plan,” added Ms McAdam who had been due to marry her fiancé David Gorman this year only for it to be postponed. “We decided to do Snowdown first. It was really enjoyable and like Ben Nevis a nice path to go up and a gradual incline. I was quite emotional when we had the first one in the bag.

“We then set off for Scafell Pike, but were so delayed with gridlocked traffic that we had to do that at dawn on the Saturday after sleeping the car. There is a picture of me at the top but the smile is one of relief. It was a tough challenge and very steep and rocky all the way up.”

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The couple had been hoping to finish the challenge in two days, however they hit further diversions and arrived at Ben Nevis on Saturday evening.

Ms McAdam added: “We didn’t think it was a good idea to be starting that at 6pm and then coming down when it would be pitch black so we did it first thing on Sunday morning. It was lovely that our friends could join us as well and even our dog Lola came.”

With a few sore toes and black toenails, Ms McAdam is delighted to have completed the challenge.

“It is something we really wanted to do and for a worthy cause. I can’t thank everyone who donated enough,” added Ms McAdam.

The Herald’s vision is to create a memorial garden as a tribute to every Scot who has lost their life to coronavirus and a place for their families to go to for peace and tranquility.

We have been offered a place in Pollok Country Park for the memorial by leaders of Glasgow City Council.

Donald Martin, editor-in-chief of The Herald and Herald on Sunday, said: “We can’t thank Lauren enough for her fundraising effort in aid of our memorial garden. It was an amazing challenge to complete and all the more poignant following the loss of her father Bryce.

“We are also very grateful to everyone who took the time to donate to Lauren’s fundraising effort.”

If you would like to donate to the campaign go to: Donations can be posted to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG. With cheques made payable to The Herald. If you would like to help, send an email to: