Aberdeen’s Kiltwalk Heroes have raised £924,000 for almost 300 charities based mostly across the North-East after the event’s triumphant return to the city for the first time in three years.

Tartan-clad walkers raised an impressive £616,000 and Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation provided a generous top-up of 50%, which worked out at an extra £308,000.

That raised a final total of £924,000, which is now on its way to 285 charities, big and small, across Grampian and the north.

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The cash is a welcome boost for charities, whose ability to fundraise and help the most vulnerable in society was badly impacted during the peak of the pandemic.

HeraldScotland: Aberdeen Kiltwalkers celebrating their successAberdeen Kiltwalkers celebrating their success

Kiltwalk CEO Paul Cooney said: “We’re so proud of all our Kiltwalk Heroes and the significant amount of money they’ve raised for good causes.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult time for charities since the pandemic hit, and these funds will make a real difference.

“We’d also like to thank Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation for their outstanding generosity. The combined total will have a positive lasting impact for so many people across Aberdeen and the North-East.  

“The atmosphere on the day was incredible: Kiltwalkers were really happy to be back, walking together from Potarch all the way to Duthie Park for the first time since 2019.”

HeraldScotland: Aberdeen Kiltwalkers prepare for the challenge aheadAberdeen Kiltwalkers prepare for the challenge ahead

Over the last six years, Scotland’s favourite mass participation charity event has raised £33.9 million for nearly 3,000 charities across Scotland

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the 26-mile Aberdeen Kiltwalk on May 29 was cancer charity Friends of ANCHOR. They posted a remarkable final total of £72,086, after its 83 walkers raised £48,057, which was topped up with an extra £24,029 by The Hunter Foundation.

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Kirsty Donaldson, Friends of ANCHOR’s donor care executive, said: “Kiltwalk is one of those fantastic events that has such a warm community feel and we witnessed that once again this year. It was wonderful to see our walkers out in force in their red T-shirts, and we’re elated at the fundraising they have achieved and grateful to Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation for the generous 50% top up.

“This year, every penny raised for Friends of ANCHOR will go towards our ‘ANCHORED Together’ appeal, which is our effort to raise £2m to support the creation of a new cancer and haematology facility in Aberdeen. The ANCHOR Centre will provide outpatient care for 65,000 people every year locally, so the impact of this fundraising will live on long after our walkers have recovered from their brilliant efforts.”

HeraldScotland: Triumphant Kiltwalkers support one anotherTriumphant Kiltwalkers support one another

Children’s charity AberNecessities, which currently supports 250 children every month across the area by providing them with basic essentials, raised a final figure of £9,467 with a team of 36 walkers.

Danielle Flecher-Horn, Founder of AberNecessities, said: “We are truly touched by the incredible amount of Kiltwalkers that chose to raise funds for AberNecessities this year. The huge amount raised, along with Sir Tom Hunter’s generous 50% top up will go such a long way in supporting underprivileged families living across the North-East of Scotland. 

“Due to the cost-of-living crisis, we have seen an immediate and sustained surge from families with pre-existing vulnerabilities as well as from those experiencing financial insecurity for the first time. This funding will change so many lives.”

Among the famous faces taking part were Paralympians and champion cyclists Neil and Lora Fachie MBE. Days later the couple were named OBE in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours list for their heroic Gold medal victories in Tokyo last year.  They completed the Big Stroll to raise funds for Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust (AFCCT).

Headline sponsors Royal Bank of Scotland and Arnold Clark were well represented and colleagues from the Aberdeen office of Gold sponsor Johnston Carmichael were also out in numbers. Aberdeen’s iconic Marischal College building was lit up red in honour of the Kiltwalk.

The next Kiltwalk will take place in Dundee on August 21 and Edinburgh September 18.

There is still time to enter the remaining Kiltwalk events of 2022. To sign up visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.