PARALYMPIANS and champion cyclists Neil and Lora Fachie MBE are to join Dons supporters on this year’s Kiltwalk, raising money for the Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust (AFCCT).
Thousands of walkers have signed up to don their favourite tartan and trusty walking boots on Sunday, May 29, all in the name of charity.
Lora and Neil, who is from Bridge of Don, will take part in the Big Stroll, a 15-mile walk starting at Crathes Castle.
The couple, who both have a visual impairment, are long-time supporters of the AFCCT.
The Fachies will join 10 other supporters who are raising money for the Trust and have signed up for either the Mighty Stride, a 26-mile hike from Potarch, the Big Stroll, or the Wee Wander, a three-mile walk starting at Goals Aberdeen and ending at Duthie Park.
Walkers can choose which charity to raise money for, with every single penny raised topped up by 50% thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation.
The proceeds raised by the AFCCT team will support the Trust’s valuable work in the community, supporting people of all ages and backgrounds across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, with a focus on education and building healthy communities including its extensive football programming.
Dons manager Jim Goodwin sent his best wishes to the AFCCT volunteers, saying: “On behalf of the whole AFC team, I’d like to pass on my very best wishes to everyone who is taking part in the Kiltwalk on Sunday. Mental health, fitness and teamwork are key values for us and the Trust so this is a fantastic opportunity to do something positive and raise money.”
Liz Bowie, chief executive of AFCCT, said: “We are extremely grateful to our team of volunteers, including Neil and Lora, for signing up to take part in this year’s Kiltwalk. They are huge supporters of the work we do and this will be a welcome boost at a time when we’re facing real challenges in raising funds to allow us to support more local people who really need our help.”
“The funds raised through the Kiltwalk will support our programmes which aim to maximise the potential of our community through improving physical and mental wellbeing. We are increasingly focussed on mental wellbeing through our work with young people in schools; our men’s mental health programme and our active ageing activities.”
“We are able to harness the love of football to encourage engagement in our programmes and to enable open conversations that can support wellbeing.”
“Mental health is a priority for us and health walks are just one of our programmes where we can combine physical exercise with that opportunity for company and conversation, so it’s fitting that the money will be raised on a walk through beautiful Deeside and Aberdeen, with the chance to get out and about, meet new friends and get some exercise.”
She added: “AFCCT has achieved so much over the past few years, helping change the lives of so many people in the region. However, we are only scratching the surface of what could be done to help the thousands more who need support to recognise their true potential in life and to help children and families who continue to face difficult challenges and need additional support.”
Over the last six years, the Kiltwalk, Scotland’s favourite mass participation charity event has raised more than £33m for nearly 3,000 charities across the country.
More than 10,000 Kiltwalk Heroes who put their best foot forward for last month’s event in Glasgow raised more than £4million – a record-breaking sum.
Walkers raised £2.7m and The Hunter Foundation provided a generous top up amounting to £1.35m and boosting the final total to £4.05m, which has gone to 685 Scottish charities.
There is still time to register for the Aberdeen event on May 29, which will be followed by St Andrews to Dundee on August 21 and Edinburgh on September 18. There will also be a Virtual Kiltwalk weekend from October 7-9.
Established in 2014 as the charity partner of Aberdeen Football Club, AFCCT is known for its work in supporting the local community, across all ages and backgrounds, while encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle.
It has won several prestigious awards, including the UEFA Best Grass Roots Football Club (2019/20) and Queen’s Award (2019).
The Trust’s extensive and wide-ranging activities have achieved more than 1million participations since it was launched, leading to increased attainment but also resulting in major savings in healthcare services.
To sign up for the remaining Kiltwalk events of 2022, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.
For more information about AFCCT, visit: https://www.afccommunitytrust.org/