The Erskineers – a group of fantastic fundraisers and their four legged friend – are taking on the challenge of climbing Britain’s highest mountain to raise money for Erskine Park Care Home.

The kiltwearing mountaineers have been in training for months to climb Ben Nevis on Saturday 28th May to raise money for veterans and their spouses in Erskine’s centenary year.

The aptly named Erskineers, consist of 33 people including Erskine Park care staff; six serving submariners; one ex Royal Scot who is also a member of the Oban Mountain rescue team as well as a team member from Kinlochleven who will be the guide on the day.

And not forgetting a very important mountaineer of the four-legged variety – Cluanie the Jack Russell Terrier.

Cluanie the dog in his kilt
Cluanie the dog in his kilt

Roz Patterson, the brainchild behind the unique challenge, works as a care assistant at Erskine Park. She has already climbed eight Munros this year, two within one day! “The inspiration for the climb is without doubt the veterans we care for”, said Roz.

“I wanted to do something to give back to those who sacrificed their lives for us and are still doing so. My husband is in the Royal Navy. Anyone currently in the military may need Erskine in the future.

‘Working for the charity, I see every day the wonderful work that goes into caring for our residents who at Erskine Park have dementia.

“We care for their individual needs, supporting them in maximising their abilities, focusing on their strengths and respecting them as individuals not defined by their condition. We will be thinking of them when on Ben Nevis if we are in need of any inspiration to get to the summit!”

Four-year-old Cluanie, who will also be wearing a kilt as he scampers up Ben Nevis, is no stranger to mountain climbing. With his owners Mick and Julie Jones he has already conquered 62 Munros.

The charismatic canine has just narrowly missed out on being named Scotland’s first Ambassadog after being chosen as one of nine finalists from more than 200 applications.

Speaking about Cluanie his master Mick Jones said: “We usually take around eight hours to get up and down Ben Nevis, depending on the speed of the group.

“We always want to take a group photo at the top so we wait for everyone to finish the climb. There are never any problems with Cluanie getting up and down a mountain. However, fatigue sometimes kicks in with the rest of the group during the descent.

“Seeing a Jack Russell bound down the hill helps lift the spirits of our climbers and boosts their energy. It often takes longer for them to get down the hill, as they all want a photo with Cluanie!”

You can support the Erskineers by texting ROZZ51 to 70070 to donate £3 or you can donate at:

Rebecca McIntosh, Roz Patterson & Lucy Burrows (all carers at Erskine Park Home).
Rebecca McIntosh, Roz Patterson & Lucy Burrows (all carers at Erskine Park Home).