Armadale boy's fundraiser walk inspired by Bathgate teenager Devin Gordon raises almost 10 times target amount
Selfless Max Smith took on the gruelling trek up the Pentland Hills on Sunday along with his grandad and seven other family members and friends to raise funds for the Young Minds charity, which helps support young people who are struggling with their mental health.
The 13-year-old Armadale Academy pupil was inspired to take on the challenge after he heard about the death of Bathgate schoolboy Devin Gordon, who took his own life earlier this year.
Max said the walk, which saw the group set off at 9am and finish just shortly before 2.30pm, was “shattering but worth it” and that he and his family had a takeaway to celebrate the achievement.
He added that he hopes the completion of the walk will send a poignant message to the families of Devin and other teenagers who died that they are not alone and that people are there to support them.
"I just hope it sends some positive thoughts to them to know that I’ve done this for their children,” he said. “Hopefully it sends some pride and happiness and I just want them to know that it’s not just their teenagers who are struggling. That's why I did it.”
At the start of his mission, Max set out to raise just £150 for the charity, but his total amount raised now sits at almost 10 times that amount. He has so far raised £1,273.
"I honestly can’t believe it, I feel incredible,” he said. “It was for such a worthwhile cause and I hope that now I’ve done this challenge, people know how dedicated I was to it to try and prove to young people with mental health struggles that people care and that we want to help.
"I want to say thank you to everyone for all the support and for all the donations especially. It’s just been amazing, I can’t believe it.
"When I counted the final amount, to see how much we’d raised, it was just incredible. And if that money can go to prevent just one child taking their life it will be all worth it.”
Max’s fundraising page is still open and you can donate here.