Edinburgh graduate completes 2000-mile solo trek for charity
Alumna Lakshya Jain walked 2000 miles around the UK raising thousands of pounds and awareness for healthcare equality.
Lakshya graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2021 with a degree in Mathematics and has recently started a PhD at Imperial College London at the School of Public Health.
While in-between universities, Lakshya wanted to get involved in something completely new:
“I wanted to see how far I was able to push myself physically and really achieve something so different to anything I have done before.”
She decided to embark on a solo trek around the UK. Setting off from her hometown of Droitwitch near Birmingham, she hiked to Edinburgh via London, along the Welsh border before returning to Scotland again.
“There is so much variety in the UK and so much to see. I feel that we miss so much when we are on a train or in a car so this way I could go and experience everything the UK has to offer."
The graduate started her journey in March 2023. It took her 137 days to complete the trek and a year of work to fund.
The harsh weather and loneliness seemed to have been the biggest challenges while her hike through Scotland one of the main highlights:
“It was extremely cold and snowy especially when I was on the Pennine Way. Loneliness was also a challenge sometimes because I did the whole walk alone with no support and sometimes when a day has been tough it was hard to find the motivation to get up and walk another 20 miles the next day. Walking for five weeks in Scotland in July 2023 was incredible. I saw so much of the country and it was so beautiful."
Aside from the physical challenge Lakshya's goal was to do something for a good cause. Along the way, she raised over £7,000 for Doctors Without Borders. She explains why:
“We are extremely fortunate in the UK to have free healthcare available to all. The NHS is honestly one of the best things about this country. Unfortunately, many are not this lucky. Healthcare inequality is an issue that has been on my mind for a long time. Access to decent healthcare should be a human right. I began to research organisations that help to do this. Doctors Without Borders does the kind of work that I want to raise awareness and funds for.”
You can see pictures from Lakshya’s journey on her Instagram @lakshya_the_hiker.
You can still donate through her fundraising page (external website).
Big congratulations to Lakshya on this brilliant achievement!