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Kiltwalk fundraiser no longer just raising money for children’s charities

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All charities, not just children's organisations, will be able to benefit from next year's Kiltwalk events

The Kiltwalk fundraiser is to be opened up to all charities, Sir Tom Hunter the charity’s major backer has revealed.

Traditionally a fundraiser where participants solely raised money for children’s charities, philanthropist Sir Tom, whose foundation underwrites the charity, said a decision had been taken to expand its remit due to a significant demand from non-children’s charities for support.

Sir Tom, made the announcement at the launch event for the Kiltwalk 2017, while also revealing that 2016’s events saw £840,000 raised for 282 Scottish children’s charities.

A number of good causes asked us if they could take part in Kiltwalk, so why would we turn them away?

He said he wanted to make the Kiltwalk the biggest mass participation fundraising event in Scotland.

“In 2016 the true heroes of the day were the Kiltwalkers who raised an astonishing £840,000,” he said.

“Next year all of Scotland’s charities can use the Kiltwalk as a vehicle for their fundraising.

“It’s simple; Kiltwalk enables Scotland’s heroes deliver for the causes of their choice.”

Paul Cooney, chief executive of the Kiltwalk, added: “Children are at the heart of why we walk and raise much needed funding but a number of good causes asked us if they could take part in Kiltwalk, so why would we turn them away?”

As well as the changes to opening up the fundraising to other charities, the Kiltwalk also announced an additional event would be held in Dundee next year on August 20.

Glasgow’s walk will take place in April 30, with Aberdeen on June 4 and Edinburgh on September 17.

Headline sponsor the Royal Bank of Scotland returns as does platinum partner Arnold Clark.

Among the good causes set to benefit from the event opening to all is the John Hartson Foundation. The Celtic, Arsenal, West Ham and Wales legend started the charity after his own battle with testicular cancer, which is set to be boosted by the generous support of Kiltwalkers.

Speaking at the launch, Hartson said: “As soon as I heard that Kiltwalk was opening-up to all charities, I jumped on a flight to be here to lend my support to the cause.

“This will encourage even more people to walk for the charity of their choice in 2017 and I aim to do at least one of the walks to raise awareness for “Grab Life by the Balls”.

The Kiltwalk was originally created by the Tartan Army Children’s Charity (TACC) in 2010 but was re-launched as a separate entity in 2012.

Over the next three years it grew from one event with 400 walkers to six events with 12,000 walkers.

However it hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in March 2015 when its chief executive Carey McEvoy quit when the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator was asked to investigate the charity after just 29p in every £1 raised was donated to charities from its 2014/15 walks.

The Hunter Foundation took over the running of struggling charity in June 2015 and immediately replaced its entire board before relaunching it in November 2015 promising to donate every penny raised to charities.

The move paid off with a number of sponsors backing the event as well as charities and walkers.