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Highland Hospice's Blister Sisters gearing up for Croatia mountain trek to raise funds

By Alan Shields

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The Blister Sisters on the stairs inside the Highland Hospice. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The Blister Sisters on the stairs inside the Highland Hospice. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A group of determined Highland women are to trek across Croatia for a leading palliative care charity.

The Blister Sisters are setting off in May for a mountainous journey across the Istria peninsula in the north of the country.

Many of the 18 women taking part in the five day adventure have experienced cancer or have lost loved ones to it and similar diseases.

And the women are to gather for a sold-out Blister Sisters ball this Saturday (March 4) at the Drumossie Hotel.

Donations can be made online here.

Highland Hospice fundraiser Emma Nicol (43) has been with the charity for 10 years and is spearheading the missing to raise over £60,000 with the trip to help keep supporting those with life limiting conditions and suffering from bereavement.

She said: "Everyday I see the good work that the hospice does.

"And none of us know when we are going to need the help the service offers.

"It's there to support so many people in our community.

"I know times are tough but we're overwhelmed by the generosity of the Highland community on a daily basis.

"They understand what a treasure it is and we want to keep the service going and even grow our services."

The group will set off to Croatia on May 8 and it marks the first time that the hospice has been involved with this particular trip.

However it could become a more regular feature in the future.

Emma said: "We do quite a lot of international challenges through the hospice.

"We were looking for a short trip that we could do from Inverness as a lot of the women have families and other commitments.

"We looked at all the options and we thought Croatia was a great opportunity.

"We're trekking eight to ten hours each day. We are getting to meet the people who live in the mountains as well which is amazing - they are among some of the oldest villages in the world.

"There are lots of different terrains to experience, parts of it we will be walking through rivers - lots of pair of socks - it's mountainous then we are into wooded areas - there's lots to experience. And the scenery is beautiful."

The group plan to hold other fundraisers through the year in order to keep raising funds.

Emma said: "The aim of the game is to raise money for the hospice.

"Throughout the week we'll be doing a lot of story-telling as well because a lot of the ladies taking part are doing it for different reasons.

"Some have experienced cancer themselves and they are using this trek as a tool to get their fitness levels back up.

"Some people have lost loved ones. Some are hospice supporters.

"Anyone who has been through cancer knows it impacts on your mental health. The camaraderie has been immense. "We've all come together before we've even left so it will be even better when we get out there."

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