More than 1,300 charities will share £7m after a record-breaking 25,000 people took part in this year’s Kiltwalks across Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.
The walkers raised £5m in sponsorship, while a further £2m was donated by Sir Tom Hunter and his foundation.
The £7m is being distributed between 1,302 charities, large and small, helping them to carry out important work in communities all over Scotland, supporting those in need.
To celebrate the landmark total, Sir Tom Hunter met with the ‘Magnificent Seven’ – a group of seven Kiltwalk superstars, who made a significant contribution towards the success of this year’s events.
Radisson Red were among several Scottish charities who benefited from the money raised, including the largest, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and one of the smallest, Coats for Kids, a Renfrewshire-based organisation that provided more than 500 coats to babies and children in the West of Scotland.
Sir Tom said: “To raise £7m for so many brilliant Scottish charities is an incredible achievement.
“I can’t begin to describe how proud I am that we managed to attract 25,000 Kiltwalkers this year.
“The £5m from the walkers and their families and friends plus our 40% top-up will make a tremendous difference to those in need. It’s a privilege to make that difference and we’re hoping this growing Kiltwalk movement will achieve even more next year.
“Although this year’s results are fantastic, our work doesn’t stop here. With 2020 approaching, I’d like to challenge even more people to join us next year and make an even bigger difference to the charities and causes they care about by donning a wee bit of tartan and taking a walk.”
With 25,000 walkers taking part across all four main events, a huge 25% increase on 2018’s 20,000 walkers, 2019 was the biggest year for Kiltwalk to date.
The event was named as the UK’s fifth biggest mass participation fundraising event. Kiltwalk recently hosted a pop-up event in Dumfries, where an additional 500 walkers raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
Malcolm Buchanan, chair of Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to join forces with Arnold Clark to support the 2020 Kiltwalk.
“The Royal Bank has been a supporter of the Kiltwalk since the start and thousands of colleagues, their families and friends have given their time to take part in and volunteer each year to help make the events such a success.
“During the last five years Royal Bank of Scotland staff donned tartan and helped raise more than £1m for Scottish charities. This year the bank made the Kiltwalk a key part of our drive to raise £4.5m and give 100,000 of work time to good causes across the country.
‘I’d like to challenge even more people to join us next year and make an even bigger difference to the charities…’Sir Tom Hunter
“Whether in Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dumfries, colleagues and the communities they serve have taken the Kiltwalk to their hearts and we are pleased to continue to offer our support for another year.”
Eddie Hawthorne, CEO and group managing director of Arnold Clark, said: “We are extremely proud to be striding into our fifth year as Platinum sponsors of the Kiltwalk. This isn’t just a financial commitment for Arnold Clark as a business. Our employees, customers and directors love being involved – the Kiltwalk gives them a way to champion the causes that matter to them.
“Over 350 of our employees have taken part so far, raising a phenomenal £440,000 over the years. In 2020, we’ll be building on the incredible momentum this partnership has gained, with more giveaways to encourage participation, and of course, all of us at Arnold Clark will be with the Kiltwalk every step of the way – including me.”
Next year, Kiltwalk supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Arnold Clark with The Hunter Foundation will take place on April 26 in Glasgow, June 7 in Aberdeen, August 16 in Dundee and September 13 in Edinburgh.
STV Children’s Appeal is the official grant making partner so those who choose to walk for the Kiltwalk itself will raise funds that will be distributed through the appeal.
To find out more, visit thekiltwalk.co.uk