SUMMIT TO WORK FOR
Challenge of a lifetime for pals
Two pals from Burnside and Castlemilk are hoping to be on top of the world after overcoming drug and drink addiction.
Davie Main and John Ferns are volunteers at the Calton Athletic Recovery Group in Glasgow, and in two years they are set to take on the challenge of a lifetime.
The duo are part of a 12-person team set to trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal in April 2016.
It’s a far cry from when both men were at their lowest ebb, with John saying he would have struggled getting up Castlemilk Road before he got clean.
Davie (45), lives in Burnside and first approached Calton 24 years ago after his promising football career was wrecked by drink and drugs.
After playing a leading role in building Calton up alongside founder David Bryce, Davie is now part of the volunteer committee at the group as well as working fulltime as a child and youth worker.
He reckons the trip shows how much things have changed for Calton: “Over the years the club has changed, there used to be a big emphasis on the football team.
“I had a promising career myself and played for Scotland schoolboys.
“Football was our flagship policy to get people in but in recent years it’s been different, with more people getting into hill walking. We done the West Highland Way and then done some Munros. One of the boys, Peter McDermott, said he wanted to go to Nepal. He actually got lost once hillwalking and met a girl called Heather who knew about the group and put him on a course, that ended up with us going to Austria, which was fantastic.”
Despite the group’s determination to make it to Nepal, it may have
remained a pipedream but for a chance meeting between 47-year-old bus driver John and Mungo Ross, an instructor and expedition leader with expedition organisers Jagged Globe.
John helped an old man up the stairs of his dial-abus one day when he met the passenger’s neighbour - who turned out to be Mungo.
The pair got talking and Mungo is now training the entire group before their trip.
John, who stays on Stravanan Road, first approached Calton 12 years ago having been using and abusing drink and drugs for 20 years.
He said: “I never thought in a million years I would be doing anything like this.
“I couldn’t even make it to the top of Castlemilk Drive, and you certainly wouldn’t have let me take a group of people up there. It’s just an absolute dream.”
Calton Athletic has been helping individuals recover from drug and alcohol addiction through unique abstinence based programme since 1985.
They are now looking to raise £40,000 to make their dream trip a reality and recently appeared on TV to tell their story.
Davie reckons the trip is something those struggling to stay clean can cling too: “Something like this gives you focus over the next two years.
“It’s a goal for people coming through. Recovery is not just about your physical state, but it’s about getting better mentally as well and they know if they want to do this trip they will need to stay clean and sober.
“People also think we have shut down so this raises the profile.”
For more information go to www.caltonathleticrecoverygroup.com or www. gofundme. com/ calton- athletic where donation can be made.
I could not even make it to the top of Castlemilk Drive
YEARS AGO, THEY DREAMED OF WALKING UP THE STREET. NOW EXDRUG ADDICTS
ARE HEADING TO TAKE ON EVEREST