Couple to hike the length of Wales for ambulance charity
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 14:30, Thursday June 25th, 2020.
Last updated: 15:17, Thursday June 25th, 2020
A couple who work at Bargoed Ambulance Station are planning to hike the length of Wales to raise £5,000 for charity.
Paramedic Kevin O’Connor and his wife Cath, who works as an emergency medical technician, will take on the challenge to raise funds for The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC) in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The couple will hike 300 miles – climbing 46 mountains – during the challenge, which will follow the Cambrian trail, starting at Cardiff Castle and finishing at Conwy Castle.
The hike will begin on September 1, with the couple hoping to complete the challenge in 21 days.
They will complete the challenge on their own, camping during the nights and carrying their equipment with them across Wales’ highest peaks – including Mount Snowdon.
TASC aims to support the mental wellbeing of ambulance staff.
Kevin said: “Cath and I had been reflecting on the last couple of months and the hardship of losing colleagues and friends to this virus. Once the pandemic subsides, it’s going to leave a lot of scars for people, especially those who’ve been working on the frontline.”
Cath said: “Despite losing family, friends and colleagues, we still have to turn up and make things better for everyone else. Sometimes we need somebody to make things better for us.
“The TASC charity does that, supporting current and retired ambulance services staff to enhance their mental and physical wellbeing during times of need.”
Before joining the ambulance service, both Kevin, 46, and Cath, 48, served in the Armed Forces.
While serving in the Royal Corps of Transport, Kevin realised he took “great satisfaction from caring for people”, and in 2000, he left the forces to pursue a career as a paramedic.
Meanwhile, Cath, 48, served in the Women’s Royal Army Corps until daughter Alexe was born 28 years ago. She then joined 157 (Welsh) Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps as an army reservist before following her husband into the ambulance service.
Kevin said: “People ask how we live and work together, but we’re best friends – childhood sweethearts.
“I can’t remember a time in my life when Cath wasn’t in it. She knows me better than anyone.”
The couple’s 23-year-old son, Joseph, also works for the ambulance service.
To make a donation towards Kevin and Cath’s challenge, visit obv.sr/amsv
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