Arguably Scotland’s favourite mass-participation fundraising event – the Kiltwalk – starts its 2023 season in Glasgow next month, and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is looking for people to join in.
From the gentle Wee Wander of three miles to the slightly more challenging 14-miler up to the 23 miles for the hardier types, there is a Kiltwalk for everyone. Further Kiltwalks of different lengths take place in Aberdeen (June 4), Dundee (August 20), and Edinburgh (September 17).
People are already signing up for SSAFA including new supporter Kelly Marshall (45) from Irvine.
Kelly, who has already signed up to do all four Kiltwalks for SSAFA, is from a Forces’ background, and is fundraising for SSAFA for the help it gave her mum twenty-three years ago.
Kelly, a facilities assistant, said: “Both parents served in Army [Royal Army Ordnance Corps] and that’s where they met. Actually, it’s a bit of a strange story because they met in jail.
“My dad – Ralph Marshall or ‘Marsh’ for short – and some mates got drunk and stole a turkey from the cookhouse and ended up in the glasshouse, and my mum, Pamela Ward, was there for being AWOL!
“Dad did 27 years in the Army, and when he passed away in 2000 aged just 45, SSAFA really helped Mum out. She was without heating for almost a year, and SSAFA helped her to get a new boiler fitted, so I’m wanting to help out other Forces’ families like we were helped.”
Also signed up is staunch SSAFA supporter and Royal Signals veteran Gina Allsop.
Sussex-based Gina was supported by SSAFA following the death of her brother and her own cycling accident. A poet and anthologist, the collection Military Memories – that she curated and contributed to – gives voice to the thoughts, memories, and experiences of veterans and others with a connection to the Armed Forces.
Gina, who is undertaking several fundraising events in Scotland this year, said: “My family tartan has arrived and there couldn’t be a more perfect way to start my ‘Scotland 300 Challenge’, than in Glasgow with a few thousand people walking in kilts for charity.”
Another taking part is SSAFA’s own Helen Fergie-McGowan, Head of Network and Community Fundraising.
Fergie, also joining in all four Kiltwalks, added: “The Kiltwalk is a fantastic event and one of the leading fundraising challenges on the Glasgow calendar.
“It’s a great way to get out and about with friends and family, get some fresh air, and raise money for an amazing charity like SSAFA, which has been providing support to veterans, serving personnel, and their families for nearly 140 years, when, how, and where they need it.
“So, sign up today, and get ready to put your best foot forward for SSAFA on the Kiltwalk.”
To fundraise for SSAFA in the Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, or Edinburgh – or as many as possible – Kiltwalks, visit ssafa.org.uk/support-us/kiltwalk-2023.