SSEN Transmission employee Mark MacLennan is preparing himself for a challenge of a life time. He will soon be swapping the relatively mild temperatures of the Highlands for the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic Circle. All in aid of raising money for a very good cause.

Heading off in early March from Rovaniemi on the edge of the Arctic Circle in North Finland, which just so happens to be Santa’s official home town. Over three days Mark will be trekking 70km into the Arctic, pulling behind him a sled with all of his supplies on board. He will be trekking for 10 to 12 hours a day, with temperatures dropping to as low as -25 degrees through the day. He will be bedding down each night in a two-man tent in the snowy wilderness, where the temperatures could reach -35 degrees.

Mark is undertaking this challenge, which is not for the faint-hearted, in memory of a close family friend who sadly lost her fight with cancer in December 2018, aged 44. The funds he is raising are going to the Highland Hospice who support people, their families and carers, living with an advancing, life shortening illness across the Highlands. The Highland Hospice were able to provide great comfort to his friend and her family during the last few months of her life.

Mark said on his preparations for the challenge: “It has been hard to prepare for the conditions we will be facing in the Arctic because there just hasn’t been much snow or extreme cold weather this year. So, I have just had to focus on specific training in the gym and walking in the forests and hills surrounding Inverness at the weekends.

We have been busy fund raising for the last 6 months and I would like to thank everyone who has donated or helped me in whatever way they could.  I am so pleased that we will be able to make a sizable donation to the Highland Hospice, they do such important work in our community.”

Although Mark will be facing the trek alone, he was able to get a helping hand from his colleagues at SSEN Transmission. Four of his colleagues have donated their ‘Be the Difference’ days to Mark. These are a day’s paid leave from their normal work duties to spend time working with a charity or group that matters to them in their local community, giving Mark the time away from work to complete his epic challenge. Others have helped Mark by providing home baking for a Bake Sale at SSE Inverness, which raised an amazing £345.

We all wish Mark well, and if you would like to find out more about his challenge please visit his just giving page.

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