This weekend six members of the ScotlandShop team will be donning their tartan and participating in the Edinburgh Kilt Walk to raise money for the children's charity Little Hearts Matter. This is a charity that is very close to our hearts, especially Kaye.
Kaye's daughter, Colbie-Kate, suffers from congenital heart disease as only half her heart works properly, making life very difficult as her energy depletes a lot quicker than the average girl her age. However, Colbie-Kate does not let her condition limit her, she spends a lot of her time doing voluntary work and was chosen to be the 2017 Eyemouth Herring Queen. Recently, she spent a weekend away on a PGL adventure funded by Little Hearts Matter, taking part in activities such as quad-biking and archery as well as speaking to other children who could relate to and understand the problems caused by her heart condition.
Kaye and her family have been working with Little Hearts Matter ever since Colbie-Kate's first operation, which was only 6 days after she was born. Little Hearts Matter are based in Birmingham and first started up in 1994 under the name Left Hearts Matter, they offered support to families that were facing a diagnosis of Hypo Plastic Left Heart Syndrome. At this time the only hospital in the UK which offered treatment for the condition was the Birmingham Children's Hospital. In 2004 they changed their name to Little Hearts Matter and opened up their membership to anyone affected by a single ventricle heart condition, the charity now have 3,500 members. They offer support in all types of ways to anyone that may be affected by these heart conditions, through phone lines, social media, information packs and they also offer a family linking service allowing families to connect and share their experiences.
The Kilt Walk was first introduced in 2010 by The Tartan Army Children's Charity. In its first year 800 took part in the walk and by 2014 this number had risen to 12,000. It was designed so Scottish Children's Charities could come together to take part in sponsored walks and raise money. The event has gone from strength to strength over the years and this year the official sponsor is The Hunter Foundation, who are adding an additional 40% to each donation made, up to the amount of £5000, meaning 140% of every donation will go to their chosen charity.
So far this year, thousands of people have walked thousands of miles between them with Kilt Walks in three different locations; Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, with the final walk of the year will take place in Edinburgh this Sunday. There are three walks for participants to choose from depending how fit you are feeling; The Mighty Stride (26 miles), The Big Stroll (13 miles) and The Wee Wander (6/8 miles). Colbie-Kate's Kiltwalkers will be taking part in the big stroll and everyone has been training hard. Leah has plenty of blisters to show for her training so hopefully they have calmed down ready for the big walk! Kaye walked the Glasgow Children's Hospital 10k last week so she is well prepared and Sarah has been walking over 20 miles a week with her dog in preparation. Lucy and Ali have slightly different priorities ahead of the walk spending plenty of time discussing their attire. Kilts are at the ready, spirits are high and there has never been a better reason to walk.
If you would like to contribute to the fundraising efforts and support this amazing charity and the children it benefits you can donate through our Just Giving Page. If you are near Edinburgh on Sunday why not pop down to support all the walkers, they will definitely need the encouragement, especially those brave souls doing the The Mighty Stride.