100% top-up from The Hunter Foundation will help those most in need

More than 150 charities in the North East struggling amid the coronavirus crisis will share a much-needed £300,000 cash lifeline in the next 24 hours, thanks to the Aberdeen Kiltwalk.

Despite the postponement of the event following the pandemic lockdown, generous Aberdeen and North East Kiltwalkers raised £150,000 after organisers urged the 1,300 registered walkers to keep fundraising if they could for local charities.

Moments after the fundraising deadline of midnight [Tuesday 5 May] Sir Tom Hunter announced that The Hunter Foundation, instead of adding 50% to walkers’ funds, was adding 100% – doubling the funds each Aberdeen Kiltwalker has raised. This will add an extra £150,000 and deliver a total of £300,000 to 155 charities across the Grampian region.

The generous uplift by The Hunter Foundation follows its 100% top up of the Glasgow Kiltwalk, which was also postponed. Glasgow Kiltwalkers saw their fundraising of £733,000 double to £1.47 million for 540 charities in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Sir Tom said: “Charities across Scotland are in crisis. At a time when they are facing severe financial difficulty many are dealing with unprecedented demand for their services. If they don’t receive the funding they need to continue operating, the consequences for our most vulnerable people will be devastating. It really doesn’t bear thinking about.

“I am incredibly proud of our kind-hearted Kiltwalk community in Aberdeen and the North, who have continued to raise £150,000 in very challenging circumstances. They are true heroes and it is an honour for The Hunter Foundation to match fund every penny they have raised. 

“My message to Scotland’s Kiltwalk community today is, we have your back and we will be back.”

Kiltwalk chief executive Paul Cooney said: “The coronavirus outbreak has caused severe financial hardship for charities, and that means many of the most vulnerable people in our society are suffering. Our Kiltwalkers have shown unbelievable spirit and generosity and we’d like to thank every one of our fundraisers and The Hunter Foundation for their outstanding support.”

One of the biggest beneficiaries is the children’s hospice charity, CHAS. Head of Community Fundraising Sarah Secombes said: “The Kiltwalk is a hugely significant event in the CHAS calendar and we are so grateful to all our fantastic supporters who do so much to help children with life-shortening conditions and their families. 

“To discover this morning [Wednesday 6 May] that the £15,000 raised by CHAS Kiltwalkers is being doubled to £30,000 by Sir Tom Hunter is phenomenal. Keeping the joy alive is at the very heart of everything we do at CHAS and knowing that all of this fundraising is receiving a 100% top up is such a welcome boost to everyone connected with CHAS at this very challenging time. Thank you for your Kiltwalk Kindness.”

Co-founder of local charity AberNecessities, Michelle Herd, said: “The £2,000 we are receiving via Kiltwalk couldn’t come at a better time as it will help us provide essential items including baby formula, nappies, clothes and bedding to underprivileged families in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire who need us now more than ever. We need to protect our most vulnerable members of the community, especially during these uncertain times and the funds raised plus the extra boost will make such a huge difference.

“We are so grateful to all our Aberdeen Kiltwalkers who helped raise £1,000 for AberNecessities and to Sir Tom Hunter and his Foundation for doubling the funds.”

Susan Crighton, director of fundraising for Aberdeen-based Charlie House, which supports children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, said: “We are so grateful to Aberdeen Kiltwalkers and The Hunter Foundation for the financial boost at a time when we really need it.  In the last seven weeks, Charlie House has seen an 80% increase in demand for our services. This Kiltwalk Kindness will boost our efforts to offer online and phone support, provide isolation packs for local families as well as sourcing and delivering disposable gloves and hand sanitiser.”

The Aberdeen Kiltwalk that was due to take place on Sunday June 7 will go ahead as soon as it’s safe to do so. 

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