Celebrating Simon’s Journey

Celebrating Simon’s Journey

Milestones Achieved and Challenges Overcome!

April saw Simon Clark mark his second Easter on the road. Now that he is on the last 1,000-mile leg of his ‘little’ 5,000-mile coastal run, around the entire wiggly edge of mainland Britain, we think it is high time to celebrate all he has achieved so far and give him a huge cheer to encourage him onwards and upwards as he wends his way home to Scotland.

Simon set off from our home here on the Moray Firth on Easter Sunday, 2016 . His aim was simple: to challenge himself to a journey of self-discovery and find out how he would cope with being pushed to the edge of his physical and mental endurance, while raising £20,000 to fund Ecologia’s work supporting youngsters to overcome their own challenging circumstances.

Simon camping in Ivors Bothy
Simon camping in Ivors Bothy

Running west and then north to John O’Groats, he immediately headed into some bitterly cold, howling, northerly winds. Unable to carry much more than a change of clothes , a sleeping bag and a bivvy bag, he quickly had to get used to finding shelter wherever he could along the way, spending one uncomfortable night sleeping on a concrete plinth, before discovering one of Scotland’s hidden gems – its mountain bothies!

Path through the dunes overlooking the Glaswyn estuary and Snowdonia

Midgies, ankle pain, and days spent largely alone, with little in the way of human contact, caused times of frustration and self-doubt, as did the need to take extra time out to deal with a sudden increase in his architectural design work (Simon works daily on his lap-top to fund his journey and ensure that every penny raised goes towards our work).

Herd of Dartmoor Ponies in Cornwall
Herd of Dartmoor Ponies in Cornwall

But more than these difficulties – which he has overcome with sheer will-power, grit, and a large helping of good humour – what sticks in our minds are the landscapes, sunsets, and sunrises he has shared; the creatures he has encountered, including wild Dartmoor ponies and Coco the deer, who slept beside him one night; the snippets of local history he has taught us about the coastal towns and landmarks on his route; the virtual tour he has given us of our own island; and the fantastic warmth and generosity shown to him by the people he has met along the way.

The completion of 2,500 miles, at Swansea

Sunset enroute to Dinas Dinlle
Sunset enroute to Dinas Dinlle

Simon said recently that he now lives ‘in a bubble of good-will’. Thanks to his own determination, your support, and that good-will bubble he has now run over 4,300 miles, worn out 5 pairs of trainers, crossed three borders, has become an official ‘end-to-ender’ (as those who have travelled from John O’Groats to Land’s End are called), has been interviewed by 10 different radio stations, maintained a blog about his whole experience while working, and raised over £12,000!

After 1,000 miles at Amy’s Boss Stop, farewell to a pair of shoes…

To celebrate all of these incredible achievements, we’ve put together a compilation of pictures and videos from his journey so far. We hope you will enjoy our slideshow below and that you will continue to cheer Simon on, through the last part of his ‘little’ run. His fundraising has been a precious gift to a small local charity like ourselves and the money he has raised, along with the new supporters he has inspired, will allow us to continue our work to give the children and young people at our projects in Kenya, Uganda, Russia, Myanmar, and now Scotland, a better start in life. Thank you Simon and thank YOU for continuing to follow his journey! We leave you with a few words from the man himself…

As I skirt the flatlands of the Lincolnshire Wash, the end of this expedition has entered my thinking. There’s no doubt I will make it, not that there’s ever been much, despite the trials of life. The rawer, vulnerable energy of children is ever more in mind now, holding keys, as they do, to all our futures.

I think our primary human obligation is to serve them as best we can, and if that is difficult, we must learn. My twin goals are to finish and raise at least £20,000 for Ecologia. With 9 or so weeks to go, I still have another £8,000 to raise. Scotland here I come! With love to us all, Simon.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ten + two =

you can make an Impact

Join our dedicated team of volunteers and experience the joy of giving back, while making a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and the community

you can make a difference

Your contribution has the power to make a difference in the lives of those in need, enabling us to continue our vital work and create positive change

Stay in touch with us

Subscribe to our emails today to receive our latest news, updates, and inspiring stories.

susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.