The streets of Glasgow to Loch Lomond became a sea of tartan today as a record number of 14,000 Kiltwalk Heroes stepped out to raise millions of pounds for 856 different Scottish charities.Today’s event is the biggest ever Kiltwalk and also made history by selling-out in advance for the first time.
Walkers lined up to take part in three routes: the 23-mile Mighty Stride, which left from Glasgow Green, the 14-mile Big Stroll from Clydebank, and the three-mile Wee Wander from Lomond Shores to Moss O’ Balloch Park.
Charities were out in force to cheer on walkers and provide a much-needed morale boost at the six Pit Stops along the way, where walkers were refreshed with snacks, fruit and soft drinks from Supermarket Partner Lidl.
Among them was Pit Stop Partners Calums Cabin, which is encouraging its supporters to enter all four Kiltwalks this year. The charity was founded by the family of Calum Speirs, who lost his life to an inoperable brain tumour in 2007 and provides holiday homes for children facing cancer.
Caroline Speirs, Chariperson of Calum’s Cabin said: “At Calum’s Cabin we can’t believe it’s Kiltwalk weekend already! It’s one of our favourite weekends of the year, seeing so many supporters for Calum’s Cabin and so many other wonderful charities pass and stop at our pitstop. The atmosphere is euphoric, knowing that everyone is making such a difference. Calum’s Cabin have almost 200 walkers this year at Glasgow and it means so much to us that they support so many families who have a child suffering from cancer.
“At present Calum’s Cabin supports 16 families per week either with a weeks’ holiday to make special irreplaceable memories or by staying in one of the charities’ home from home near hospital flats, the difference this fundraising is making is phenomenal. Thank you as always to all our walkers, Sir Tom and The Hunter Foundation and everyone at the Kiltwalk.”
Mental health SAMH, another Pit Stop Partner, was on hand to support walkers and raise awareness of their services to help people through the cost-of-living crisis.
Shona Langlands, Senior Fundraising Manager, SAMH said: “The team from SAMH loved every second of our day at Glasgow Kiltwalk. We had over 200 SAMH supporters taking part in the event and it was so touching to engage with them at our pit stop and hear their stories of why they chose to raise much needed funds for Scotland’s mental health.
“It’s also a great reminder that being physically active is a key way to support our mental wellbeing. From everyone at SAMH, a huge thank you to our supporters – the need for our life-changing services continues to grow and your support is helping us transform lives.”
This year the entry fee for the Mighty Stride and Big Stroll was reduced by 37% from £32 to £20 to make Kiltwalk as accessible as possible amid the cost-of-living crisis. Every penny raised goes directly to the charities chosen by the walkers plus they can claim Gift Aid which can raise the totals to 125% of everything raised. Kiltwalk has raised and distributed £37 million to over 3,000 charities in the last 7 years.
The event is being fully underwritten by The Hunter Foundation and is once again supported by headline sponsors Royal Bank of Scotland, and Arnold Clark.
“Today’s Glasgow Kiltwalk will help 856 different Scottish charities, the biggest in one day. The efforts of every one of our 14,000 walkers will make a massive difference to people who need it so much. It’s phenomenal! The Kiltwalk community have done us proud.
“At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is taking a terrible toll, it’s important that so many people have come out and walked and donated for the most vulnerable. I’d like to thank each and every one for their Kiltwalk kindness.”
Following Glasgow’s efforts, the next Kiltwalk event will take place in Aberdeen on 4 June, then in Dundee on the 20 August and Edinburgh on the 17 September.
To sign up for the three remaining Kiltwalk events of 2023, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.