The four annual Kiltwalks take part in four cities – Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh - between April and September, and each provides three different walks to chose from. This means that almost everyone can take part, whatever your level of fitness or enthusiasm.
And one of the best things about this event is that the Kiltwalk organisers add 40% on top of however much money you raise, making this a brilliant way to help Meningitis Now raise the vital funds needed to fight the disease.
The four walks are:
- Glasgow - 28 April
- Aberdeen - 2 June
- Dundee - 18 August
- Edinburgh - 15 September
Meningitis Now Community Support Officer for Scotland and N Ireland, Alison Yelland, organised a group of friends to take part in one of the walks last year. The event was a special one for her as it marked her 50th birthday – originally, she had aimed to have 50 friends to help her celebrate but in the end there was 62 of them on the Edinburgh Walk.
“The whole day was just one massive highlight for me,” said Alison. “The atmosphere was amazing!”.
Not all the group did the full 26 miles – each event is divided into three walks: you can chose to do the full “Mighty Stride”, the 13-mile “Big Stroll” or the shortest of the three, the six mile “Wee Wander”. But whichever distance they chose, all participants were able to enjoy the party mood of the event.
“There are six pit stops along the way and each offers not just snacks or hot food or a drink but entertainment too,” added Alison.
“Some had dance troupes or choirs – you could hear the singing in the distance as you drew closer, which was a great incentive to keep going!”.
Of course, walking 26 miles in one go without proper preparation isn’t the best idea and Alison recommends putting in the training in the run up to the big day. She and her friends organised a series of training walks over the summer in the lead up to her birthday in September so were ready to take on the challenge.
“It was a great way to get fit, as well as a lot of fun,” she said. “In total last year kilt walkers raised an incredible £19,670 for Meningitis Now – it would be brilliant to top that this year."
“So, dig out that tartan, get your sponsorship forms in and get walking... Kilts encouraged - but optional!”
Two other Meningitis Now supporters who joined Alison on her birthday walk last year both gave the event a big thumbs up.
Community Ambassador James Duff said that it had been a “fantastic opportunity” to celebrate with Alison.
“The Kiltwalk is an event I have participated in on many occasions,” he said.
“It is an opportunity to take on an amazing challenge with friends and create memories whilst raising money for Meningitis Now - a charity that is very close to my heart since losing my nephew Kristopher."
“Doing the Kiltwalk is fun, you get a great sense of achievement when you cross the finish line and you know the pain is temporary!”
And Margaret McLaren, another Scotland-based Community Ambassador, added, “The Kiltwalk is a great way of supporting the charity."
“It is a day that makes you humble when you see so many sharing the experience and supporting each other no matter the cause they are walking for."
“The fact that it has three different walks makes it more accessible for all the family (and dogs) to take part, plus with the generosity of the Tom Hunter Foundation the charities get 140% of all the monies raised."
“It's a great day out, with entertainment along the way and the kilties cheering you on - tiring but a great sense of accomplishment, well worth it for so many reasons.”
To find out more about the Kiltwalk and to sign up to help raise funds for Meningitis Now, please visit the Kiltwalk website, or email Meningitis Now Community Fundraiser Jo Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.