GRANGE Leisure’s Gary Turland has already battled mental health issues and now he is preparing to scale Wales’ highest mountain - in Lederhosen.

The 28-year-old who runs the gym at the leisure centre in Stratton will be pulling on the traditional German costume to scale Snowdon to raise money for mental health charity MIND and the Great Western Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

He has already managed to raise £1,000 single-handedly, but is hoping for even more to help people who need it most.

He said: “I have had to take a lot of time off with mental health issues in the past year and for me it is as much about raising awareness of mental health issues and the work MIND does as raising money.

“I do a lot of work in boxing and MMA and in those kind of environments, I know it’s said a lot but people don’t talk about mental health issues. But just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

“So that’s why I wanted to raise money for MIND.

“It’s also going to be split with the GWH Intensive Care Unit. The chairman of the parish council, John Foley, was ill last year with an aneurysm , and he had to go into the ICU.

“They took good care of him and I know everybody here and at the council is so grateful for their work.

“John has been so supportive of us and everything we’re doing at the gym.”

Gary only agreed to wear his own yodelling outfit while climbing the 1,085m mountain after making a throwaway comment about fundraising.

He said: “I said to my friends I will wear anything they like if they sponsor me, and I think that’s why I’ve managed to raise so much already.

“It was originally going to be a costume of a Dutch girl but they couldn’t find one big enough, so instead I’ll be wearing the German costume and look a bit like Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Joining Gary on the trip is a team of 30 other gym staff, gym members, friends and family - a full coach-load of people who will set off at 7am from Grange Leisure Centre on August 11.

They will reach the foot of the mountain at around 11am before climbing the most popular route - the miners track - which is estimated to take about six hours from the car park at Pen-y-pass.

Gary said: “I think anyone with some level of fitness can climb it but it’s not to be taken lightly.

“In the group there are people of all ages and abilities taking part and I know some of them have been doing lots of hill climbs to prepare for it. I’ve done Ben Nevis in the past and personally I wanted to do Snowdon because I am working towards doing the Three Peaks.”

To find out more and see if you can still get a place, call Gary at Grange Leisure on 01793 823761.

To sponsor Gary or the team, drop in your donation at the Leisure Centre in Grange Drive.