A STEWARTON gran has completed a gruelling 300-mile bike ride challenge through Malawi to raise money for charity.

Morag Whitham completed the endurance cycle in just six days with a team of 22 other riders.

Despite the searing heat and tough terrain the 56-year-old completed the challenge on July 12 to raise vital funds for healthcare charity EMMS International.

After finishing the challenge Morag said it was the toughest thing she’s ever done.

She said: “Yesterday I said this was the hardest thing I’d ever done and that’s true, but also the most challenging, most rewarding and most supported thing I’ve ever done.

“I may not have cycled it all, but I have cycled in Malawi, walked in Malawi, pushed my bike in Malawi and been bussed in Malawi - a very special place full of wonderful happy people - certainly the warm heart of Africa.” Taking in Makuzi beach, Nkhotakota Game Reserve, Salima and Mua Mission, and finishing with a visit to a local health project at Nkhoma Hospital, Morag and her team, which included husband Graham, witnessed first hand the great work being done at the facility which will benefit from the money they raise.

Morag said: “We all regrouped for the last kilometre and rode into the hospital together with balloons tied to our helmets - what an odd sight. We were greeted by lots of singing and dancing. It was very emotional.

“Lunch followed and then a very informative tour of the hospital. This appears to one of the better equipped and maintained hospitals that I have seen in Malawi. It was good to see the difference that all the fundraising will make in this area.” EMMS International is a Christian international healthcare charity founded in 1841 which works with partners in India, Malawi and Nepal to improve health and healthcare, in those regions as well as facilitates respite for people in Scotland with serious illnesses.