Trekking trio raise £28,000 for refugees

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Saturday 14th May 2022 3:30 pm
@JulieCambrian
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A FATHER and his sons who travelled through Gwynedd as part of a 160-mile trek for Ukrainian refugees have raised more than £28,000.

Michael, David and Richard Hnyda set off on the gruelling trek last month, hoping to raise £25,000. But the trio smashed that target and have raised £28,732 so far.

Their route from Caernarfon to Porthcawl took the fundraisers through Beddgelert, Maentwrog, Trawsfynydd, Dolgellau, Corris, Machynlleth, Llanidloes and Rhayader.

The trio, from Porthcawl, wanted to take on the hike across some of Wales’ most challenging terrain to raise money for British Ukrainian Aid.

They completed the journey in just six days, passing through both Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. The journey was made in memory of their Ukrainian grandfather, Wolodymyr, with the 160 miles representing the distance he would have walked from his village in western Ukraine to the nearest safe border with Poland.

David said: “Our grandfather fought across Europe for Ukrainian independence. He eventually ended up in South Wales and became a proud adopted Welshman and British Citizen. As young men we recognised his qualities of warmth, kindness, resilience and stoicism; values which are now on display to the world by the brave Ukrainian people.

“Like most people we were horrified at the scenes following the invasion of Ukraine and knew we needed to do something to help. Walking the same distance our grandfather did in 1942 to escape the occupying Russian regime will give the trek a poignant significance that will make helping the Ukrainian people even more special”

The group set off from Caernarfon Castle on ​Monday 4 April. They completed 43.1km towards Beddgelert, finishing the day in Maentwrog.

On Tuesday, 5 April they left Meantwrog at 8am, heading south towards Dolgellau and then on towards Machynlleth, finishing the day at the Centre for Alternative Technology having travelled a total of 39.2km.

Wednesday, 6 April saw them on a 45.6km trek from Machynlleth, towards Llanidloes and then south towards the finish in the small village of Nantgwyn.

On Thursday, 7 April, they trekked 44.7km from Nantgwyn to Rhayader and Garth, finishing just south of Llangammarch Wells in the small village of Tirabad.

Friday saw the trio trek 44.9 km over the Brecon Beacons, through Trecastle and towards Ystradgynlais via Craig-y-nos. Once through Ystradgynlais, south to Crynant ready for the final push.

Saturday, 9 April saw them completing the trek with a 37.4km walk from Crynant RFC, down the Neath Valley towards Briton Ferry before finally finishing at Porthcawl RFC for a few drinks and a bit of a party.

David said: “Everything went really well. We finished only half an hour late!”

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