PUPILS and staff at Belhaven Hill School have smashed their fundraising target and scaled three of East Lothian’s most recognisable peaks for charity.

All 141 pupils, aged five to 13 years old, from the school had to climb North Berwick Law, Traprain Law and Belhaven Hill in aid of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA).

The school was inspired by the life’s work of John Bullough, a godparent of one of the pupils and the founding chairman of the charity, which had been adopted as the good cause for the spring term.

The goal was to raise enough funds to purchase a new helicopter helmet, costing about £5,000, for one of the helicopter crew.

With each Belhaven year group assigned an age-appropriate distance that would prove challenging yet achievable, the whole school ascended North Berwick Law together.

Accompanied and encouraged by two SCAA mascots, a pilot bear and an energetic helicopter, the eldest walkers then set out along the John Muir Way en route to East Linton and Traprain Law.

“Fortunately, the weather on the day was incredibly kind to us, and everyone completed their section of the route in glorious sunshine,” says Olly Langton, headmaster of the school.

“The views from the top of both of the famous East Lothian landmarks made for a memorable day.”

The charity responds to two time-critical emergency callouts every day and has had more than 5,700 callouts since being founded 10 years ago.

SCAA receives no government funding, so relies 100 per cent on donations from the public and needs to raise £7.8 million in 2024-25 to fuel its life-saving flights across Scotland.

Mr Langton was delighted to say the fundraiser had proven a great success.

He added: “By the end of the day, it was clear that ‘The Belhaven Three Peaks’ had been an enormous success.

“Not only had the original fundraising target been more than doubled, but everyone felt that they had achieved something important.

“The school is now looking forward to presenting a cheque for just over £10,000 to SCAA and hearing more about the exploits of John Bullough, its founding chairman, at a whole school assembly.”

During the summer term, Belhaven’s charitable focus turns to its chosen international charity, Kids Operating Room.

The charity, founded by Garreth and Nicola Wood, who own Yester Estate at Gifford, install paediatric operating rooms in low-and-middle-income countries with the aim of bringing access to safe surgery to every child who needs it.

The whole school will be camping in the grounds of Belhaven, with the support of ‘The Wild Outdoors’.

During the course of the 2023-24 year, the school hopes to have raised about £13,000 for three healthcare providers, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, SCAA and Kids Operating Room.