OVER 500 Scottish charities hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak will share a £1.4m cash windfall in the next 48 hours, thanks to funds raised from the Glasgow Kiltwalk.

Despite being forced to postpone the Glasgow Kiltwalk due to the pandemic lockdown, generous Kiltwalkers raised £720,000 pounds, after the organisers urged would-be participants to keep fundraising for local charities.

And in an unprecedented move, Sir Tom Hunter announced that The Hunter Foundation was delighted to double the funds each Kiltwalker has raised, adding an extra £720,000 to boost the coffers of over 530 Scottish charities. Kiltwalkers had been expecting a 50% uplift from Sir Tom rather than 100%.

Sir Tom said: “These are extraordinarily tough times for Scottish charities – scores of them are facing the reality of having to close their doors completely, with devastating consequences for so many great causes.

“The Kiltwalking heroes have responded magnificently, raising £720,000 in extremely trying circumstances – it shows the very best of Scotland.

“Their generosity and care for others is overwhelming and I’m honoured that The Hunter Foundation is able to match those funds pound-for-pound, meaning over 500 Scottish charities will get the funds they so desperately need in the next couple of days.”

Kiltwalk chief executive Paul Cooney said:

“The coronavirus outbreak has brought hundreds of charities all over the country to their knees, because fundraising has virtually ground to a halt. That means many of the most vulnerable people in our society are suffering enormous hardships, so we really want to thank every one of our fundraisers for stepping into the breach.”

Kirsten Sinclair, chief operating officer of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said:

“For many charities, the £1.4m raised by the Kiltwalkers and The Hunter Foundation will be the difference between shutting their doors and keeping going.

“It’s heart-breaking when charities are being forced to turn away people in real need because of the coronavirus outbreak, but the fact that so many Scots have persevered with their Kiltwalk fundraising is fantastic, and to have Sir Tom and the Hunter Foundation match those funds means an enormous amount at such a difficult time.”

Paul’s Parcels in Shotts is a food poverty prevention group now supporting 45 families. In the last week, eight of those families have asked for support. 

Founder Tracey Duffy said: “The £190 raised by our Kiltwalkers would pay for eight food parcels. Now that The Hunter Foundation has doubled this amount to £380, 16 families in Lanarkshire will receive essential food supplies.  Thank you, Sir Tom, for your Kiltwalk Kindness.”

The Aberdeen Kiltwalk was also postponed due to coronavirus but the events scheduled for Dundee and Edinburgh, due to be held on the 16 August and 13 September respectively, are still currently going ahead.

Each walk has three distances to choose from to suit people of all ages and abilities.

For further information about the Kiltwalk visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.