Inspirational supervisor scales Criffel three years on from major stroke

Colin Stevenson and Bruce Laidlaw

A Russell Roof Tiles supervisor has completed the gruelling challenge of climbing to the top of Criffel three years after suffering a major stroke.

Colin Stevenson scaled the 570 metres high hill in Kirkcudbrightshire to raise money for the Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust.

After suffering a stroke in September 2019, Colin had part of his lung surgically removed which made breathing and exercise a difficult task. Despite this, in May – just under three years on from the operation – he set himself the challenge of reaching the top of Criffel.

With the support of his daughter Karen Stevenson, who volunteered to join Colin on the challenge, they managed to reach the top in three and a half hours, before making the long and tiring descent back to ground level.

Colin said, “In 2019 my life completely changed, after having a small section of my lung removed, and then suffering from a stroke, I never thought I’d be able to walk up the Criffel. Thanks to the Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust a charity based in my hometown, I was able to start walking around the Loch and building my strength up little by little.

“This year, I wanted to take on something that would be a huge challenge and raise money for the charity that helped me get my life back. The climb wasn’t an easy one, but I got there. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends, family and colleagues.”

In total, Colin raised £1,400 for the Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust. The charity looks after the environment through community volunteer initiatives, with the funds set to ensure that the conservation of the area is maintained and that people within the community can continue to walk around the loch.

Bruce Laidlaw, operations director at Russel Roof Tiles, said, “Colin is an inspiration to us all. He’s undeterred by his health condition and the 506-meter ascent. He’s the first person this year at Russell Roof Tiles, to have taken on an extreme challenge on his own. He’s set the bar high and raised a significant amount for the Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust. A charity close to Colin and Russell Roof Tiles. From me and the rest of the team, you’ve done us all proud.”