‘Supergran’ treks again

Eastwood gran Shirley Butler off to jungles of Indonesia for charity trek for Scope.
Eastwood gran Shirley Butler off to jungles of Indonesia for charity trek for Scope.

An intrepid fundraiser from Eastwood, who has been dubbed ‘supergran’ by the Advertiser, has announced she will trek across Burma in her final major fundraiser for the charity Scope.

Shirley Butler, of Nether Green, is just about to turn 80. But she has raised more than £40,000 for the cerebral palsy charity over the last ten years and will trek through Burmese forests in blistering heat before she hangs up her hiking boots after her 12th and final expedition.

The five-day trek in October will see her cross 70 miles of undulating terrain, sleeping on the floors of remote Bhuddist monasteries.

Since retiring, the grandmother-of-five has trekked to Machu Picchu in Peru, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked 70 miles through Venezuela in 90-degree heat, and ventured across Egypt, Nepal and Vietnam.

The adventures began when Shirley retired from working with disabled care homes for the elderly.

Shirley was inspired to start trekking after spending time with people who had cerebral palsy at work.

She said: “When I retired at 65 I was nowhere near ready to retire and I had the chance to go to Egypt with a friend to climb Mount Sinai.

“All these expeditions later I am beginning to get old and the family are egging me on to hang up my boots. My husband, David, always jokes that I am dead but I won’t lie down!”

Shirley’s husband of 51 years is also about to become an octogenarian and introduced Shirley to hiking when they were first married.

She says he has always been very supportive of her charity treks but prefers to hear about them than join her.

Shirley will be trekking with eight friends she met on previous treks, although the one closest to her in age is still 20 years younger than her,

In 2008 Shirley was awarded a certificate for climbing Mount Roraima in South America.

Shirley has almost raised the £3,600 she needs for her latest trek.

Scope offers support to children and adults with cerebral palsy and campaigns for equal opportunities for those with disabilities.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Shirley should contact her on 01773 716655 or email shirley@butleronline.net.