A record-breaking 3,200 walkers took to the streets of Aberdeen city and ‘Shire at the weekend, raising more than £800,000 for charities across the North East.
1,650 walkers gathered at 9am at Potarch Green in Banchory to take part in the 26-mile Mighty Stride, with an additional 830 taking part in the 15-mile Big Stroll, which set off from Crathes Castle at 11am. Meanwhile, more than 700 others took on the five-mile Wee Wander. All walkers finished at the Kiltwalk village in Duthie Park in the city centre.
Every £1 raised by walkers receives a 40% boost from Sir Tom Hunter and the Hunter Foundation. Through their fundraising and walking efforts, Kiltwalkers in Aberdeen will raise approximately £600,000 which with the 40% boost, means the incredible total will be over £800,000 going to charities across Scotland.
Paul Cooney, Kiltwalk CEO said:
“The people of Aberdeen, city and ‘shire, have truly embraced Kiltwalk and it’s reflected in the record-breaking numbers. The atmosphere created by our walkers, who are helping more than 300 charities, was very special and they didn’t let the threat of rain spoil their day, nor their fundraising.
“A huge thank you on behalf of Sir Tom and all of us at Kiltwalk to the real heroes of today, our army of 3,200 Kiltwalkers.”
Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scotland board, said:
“It is truly inspirational to see so many people from across the North East come together to support so many great charities making a difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We are proud to be a partner of the Kiltwalk and have the opportunity to do our bit to help make this the biggest charitable mass participation event in Scotland.
“There is still time to take part in the remaining Kiltwalks in Dundee and Edinburgh and we would encourage everyone to get their boots on and get involved.”
Leading out the Mighty Stride was 25-year-old Ben Lobban, who lost his brother Sam in 2018. Raising funds for mental health charity, SAMH, Ben took on the Kiltwalk as a ‘thank you’ for the work the charity carries out to help people with mental health issues across the country.
Gail Sangster, from Stonehaven, was out in front to lead the walkers for the Big Stroll, along with her husband, Bruce and seven of her friends and family. Her son, Finlay, was born at 28 weeks and suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Since his birth, Gail, Bruce and their family have been fundraising for eponymous charity Finlay’s Fund, raising over £100,000.
Last year, Kiltwalk raised over £5million for charities across Scotland, including Prostate Cancer UK, STV Children’s Appeal, Calum’s Cabin and Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland).
Kiltwalk is the UK’s fastest growing fundraising event. The next walk takes place from St. Andrews to Dundee on 18 August and the final Kiltwalk is in Edinburgh on 15 September.
To sign up for the three remaining Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalks this year, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk