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If you see this man carrying a 12ft wooden cross around Scotland, this is the reason behind it

Gordon Cruden
Gordon Cruden

A north-east man is preparing to carry a 12ft wooden cross on a 600-mile journey around Scotland to raise money for an addiction recovery charity.

Gordon Cruden, area manager of Teen Challenge North East Scotland, is leading the initiative which will take just 30 days. The cross he has chosen to bear weighs 45lbs.

The People’s Crosswalk Challenge – which will launch on Easter Sunday, April 16 – is part of a long-running campaign to raise money to buy the Benaiah women’s recovery centre near Mintlaw.

A total of £535,000 is needed to complete the deal and the charity have reached two-thirds of that figure.

Mr Cruden’s mission comes after it was revealed that drug-related deaths in Scotland soared by 15% in a year to their highest-ever figure.

More than 700 people died as a result of drug abuse in 2015, 87 more than the 613 recorded in 2014. The figure has also doubled in a decade.

Mr Cruden said: “It’s clear that our work to put hope in the reach of addicts, and help them out of the mess and mayhem of addiction, is as essential as ever.

“These latest statistics are big numbers, but we have to remember that, at the centre, all of these are families and friends, who have been devastated by the collateral damage caused by drugs.

“This makes our People’s Crosswalk Challenge all the more timely. The initiative will raise money needed to buy our women’s addiction recovery home, Benaiah, as we look to do all we can to help individuals from becoming another heart-breaking statistic.”

To donate to the Buy Benaiah campaign, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peoplescrosswalkchallenge

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