‘The Charity does such amazing work – and they help so many people, often without even knowing they are doing so’ ..
This is what has spurred one of the Charity’s newest volunteer and valued fundraising supporters to take on all sorts of amazing and daring physical challenges over the past 12 months, and to date raise almost £6,000 for the Charity.
Catherine Mcgregor from Plymouth is a retired member of The Royal Marines Band Service – a talented flute player who had to put it to one side in favour of the picking up an oboe when joining the Band back in 1997, there being no vacancies at the time for flautists.
Since leaving the Corps after ten years of service, she has been busy climbing the hospitality ladder and is now Senior Food Operations Manager with one of the country’s best-known pub chains.
But it wasn’t until she saw the call via the Charity’s Members’ newsletter for local volunteers to help out at Bear Grylls’ GoneWild festival, that she realised just how much she had been missing the camaraderie of being a more active member of the Royal Marines Family and got the fundraising bug.
With a keen spirit of adventure, Catherine has always been a keen Ultra marathoner – ‘running one is just part of a regular Saturday for me’, so for her first challenge she ran an incredible seven marathons through seven European countries in seven days along with five friends, has since completed a sky-dive and wing walk, and is determined to have another go at the 100-mile run she was unable to finish earlier this summer.
Whether or not she will tackle this before, or after, the next mighty test of endurance on her fundraising ‘to do’ list is still up for discussion. That will be running from John O’Groats to Land’s End, with her plan already well advanced to tackle the distance in 50-mile sections over 17 days. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Now I have the added incentive of doing something that will also help the Charity in their work in giving assistance to those in the RM Family who need it and who are so deserving.”
Training for such tough tests of endurance means that Catherine has to juggle her busy life to find the time to run some 120 miles a week along with strength training sessions not to mention travelling around the country in a demanding full-time job.
So what drives this humble, yet exceptionally inspirational volunteer to go the extra mile? “Sheer grit and determination,” says Catherine. “Life’s very short so you just have to get the best you can out of it. If this means you can help and motivate others at the same time, then it’s all been a bit more worthwhile.”