Gordon Jackson

Gordon Jackson is walking 500 MILES to raise awareness of ME

Fundraising for ME Association
raised of £2,000 target
by 208 supporters
#GoBlue4ME is the ME Association's annual campaign to link people with the illness and their families to ME Awareness Week in May. We invite people to add their own fundraising events to this page.


#BREAKINGNEWS: I start my final 83 mile section to John O Groats on 16th April. Setting out from Helmsdale and walking the coastline to John o'Groats, and then on to Dunnet Head, the most northerly point in Scotland and on the Great British mainland.  

Gordon's 500 Mile walk for ME from Mull of Galloway to John O'Groats

I am walking 500 miles from the southern tip of Scotland at the Mull of Galloway lighthouse, to the most northern point, at Dunnet Head lighthouse, just to the north east of John O Groats

I know it's a long way, totalling around 30 days walking, and while I'd love to do it in one go, end-to-end, because of work and caring commitments, I will instead be hiking consecutive sections, 1-4 days at at time. I intend to set off from the Mull of Galloway on the 28th May, and to reach Inverness by the autumn. I will then walk the last 160 miles in the spring of 2022. As it will be far too cold to walk the coastal path in north eastern Scotland in the winter.    

My reason for doing the walk is to raise awareness of ME/CFS and support the ME Association a charity who provide support to those suffering from this awful condition.  

I have a personal connection with this cause, because in the autumn of 2016 my wife Catriona became severely affected by ME. There had been signs for a few years before this that she was struggling, but the actual onset happened quickly, over the course of a few weeks (she was out cycling on her bike in September, but by November she could barely even get out of bed). It was at this point she had to give up work, and get used to spending most of her days at home with little strength or energy to do anything. Even the most basic of household tasks seemed to wipe her out completely. We didn't know what was wrong, and it was a very worrying time. 

It took nearly three years to get an official diagnosis and we spent many hours travelling to hospitals across the south east of England, before she was formally diagnosed by a consultant in June 2019. 

Fast forward to the spring of 2021, following a significant relapse in February, caused by catching a bad winter cold, she is almost entirely housebound, except for very occasional short trips out in the car when she is having "a good day". 

Since the symptoms initially arose, there has been an almost constant decline in her health year-on-year. Back in 2016, we hoped one day we would find out the cause she would get better. Now we know the cause, but there is no cure, and while she may get a little better in time, it won't be quick and a relapse can occur at any time. Now our goals each year are more modest and we just hope that she will get back to how she was a year or two ago, when she could at least spend a few hours out of the house in one day. 

One of the greatest frustrations Catriona and I have relating to ME/CFS, it that it is not well known and is often poorly understood even within the medical profession. This despite there being around 250,000 suffers in the UK alone. It is so difficult trying to explain her condition to friends, colleagues, family members and other people we know,  as often they really just don't understand. But is that surprising? When many Doctors are poorly informed about the condition, and there has been so little medical research devoted to either the discovering the cause or finding a possible cure. 

I just hope that in some small way my very long walk can change that. 

Getting back to the Challenge. For those who are interested, the route I will walk is 506 miles and follows the paths and trails listed below: 

  • Mull of Galloway Trail (Drummore - Stranraer 26 miles)
  • Loch Ryan Coastal Path (Stranraer - Glenapp 12 miles)
  • Ayrshire Coastal Path (Glenapp - Skelmorlie 101 miles)
  • Clyde Coastal Path (Skelmorlie - Milngavie 34 miles)
  • West Highland Way (Milngavie - Fort William 96 miles)
  • Great Glen Way (Fort William - Inverness 76 miles)
  • John O Groats Trail (Inverness - John O Groats 147 Miles)
  • John O Groats - Dunnet Head (No formal route so I will walk on B roads and follow the coast the last remaining 14 Miles)

As I can't complete it in one consecutive end to end walk, no doubt I'll clock up a good few miles more, on foot, by car, taxi, bus, train and possibly even plane, getting to and from my start and finish points. It's a daunting challenge, but I am ready for it.

Of course the walk is not the important thing, what this is really about is trying to gain as much publicity as I can to help raise awareness of the ME/CFS and to educate people on how this damaging condition affects so many lives in the UK and around the world. 

As the condition also closely resembles "long Covid", and it is possible that many Covid sufferers may go on to end up with ME/CFS, now seems like a really important time to raise public awareness.   

It would be great if you are able to donate to the ME Association to help with the fantastic work that they do raising awareness of ME/CFS, supporting those suffering with the disease and funding much needed research. But my primary motivation for doing this walk is to raise awareness of ME, so even if you can't donate please check out my Facebook page, and my twitter feed, to read the posts I have written and shared. Also sharing my page or my posts, or retweeting with to your friends and contacts would be fantastic.  




About the campaign

#GoBlue4ME is the ME Association's annual campaign to link people with the illness and their families to ME Awareness Week in May. We invite people to add their own fundraising events to this page.

About the charity

ME Association

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The ME Association campaigns hard to get ME recognised as a severe neurological illness. Our helpline provides essential information and support to adults and children who have ME/CFS, and to their families and carers. We also fund biomedical research into the physical nature and causes of ME/CFS.

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