A 22-year-old from Orton has embarked on the gruelling journey of walking Scotland's iconic North Coast 500 route in memory of his late uncle who sadly took his own life.

Thomas Bell set out on the challenge which will see him traverse the Scottish Highlands to raise funds for Andy’s Man Club – a charity that offers vital support network for those struggling with mental health issues.

After setting out on July 2, Thomas has ticked off over 250km of the 830km long route. He expects to finish on August 1.

“My uncle, Mark Lister, passed away a few years ago, whatever he was going through it was obviously too much for him,” Thomas said.

“Ever since, I’ve been really aware of it.

Mark Lister, Thomas' late uncleMark Lister, Thomas' late uncle (Image: Supplied)

“I feel blessed to be in a positive mental state.

"I don’t suffer from depression, I feel it’s my responsibility to raise awareness and money to try and help anyone who needs it,” he said.

Despite currently experiencing a Scottish summer with it ‘hammering down’, Thomas is not faltering.

So far, he has raised over £2,200 for the charity that offers support throughout Cumbria.

“It’s a great amount so far. When I set a target of £5,000, my sister said ‘aim for the stars and you might land on the moon’, you never know we might get there now.

“Andy’s Man Club is an amazing group of people. 

"They say they want to be in as many places as McDonald's which is some task but, every penny we can raise goes towards opening another group, the more groups, the more people we can reach,” he said.

The hardest part hasn’t been walking for Thomas, it’s been battling the elements, however. 

“Walking 20 miles a day isn’t the hard part,” he said.

Part of the NC500 route Part of the NC500 route (Image: Getty Images)

“It’s waking up in a freezing cold in a tent, packing up your stuff, and having to set off in the rain.

“I’ve been in the Highlands a few times, so I roughly knew what to expect, maybe just not to this capacity,” he said.

As if the NC500 wasn’t enough, Thomas plans to tackle Ben Wyvis at the finish line. He is inviting any of his supporters to join for the final hike.

In the meantime, you can follow his journey on his Instagram and TikTok page @ahikefortheboys.

To donate to the JustGiving page, you can click here.