Scottish charities hit by the coronavirus pandemic will share a £1.4 million cash boost from a fundraising walk – despite the event being postponed.
The Glasgow Kiltwalk was due to take place on Sunday April 26 but organisers decided it could no longer go ahead in light of the virus outbreak.
They urged participants to keep fundraising and £720,000 has been collected for charity.
Philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, of The Hunter Foundation, which underwrites the Kiltwalk, has now announced he will double the funds raised instead of his planned 50% increase.
The cash will be given to hundreds of charities including Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, Beatson Cancer Charity, amputee support organisation Finding Your Feet and Calum’s Cabin, which organises breaks for children with cancer and their families.
Food banks such as Paul’s Parcels in Shotts, North Lanarkshire, are also being helped and the charity said the cash will enable them to double the number of families given food parcels.
Sir Tom said: “These are extraordinarily tough times for Scottish charities – scores of them are facing the reality of having to close their doors completely, with devastating consequences for so many great causes.
“The Kiltwalking heroes have responded magnificently, raising £720,000 in extremely trying circumstances – it shows the very best of Scotland.
“Their generosity and care for others is overwhelming and I’m honoured that The Hunter Foundation is able to match those funds pound-for-pound, meaning over 500 Scottish charities will get the funds they so desperately need in the next couple of days.”
Kiltwalk chief executive Paul Cooney said: “The coronavirus outbreak has brought hundreds of charities all over the country to their knees, because fundraising has virtually ground to a halt.
“That means many of the most vulnerable people in our society are suffering enormous hardships, so we really want to thank every one of our fundraisers for stepping into the breach.”
Kirsten Sinclair, chief operating officer of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said it is “heartbreaking” that charities are being forced to turn away people in need during the pandemic.
She added: “For many charities, the £1.4 million raised by the Kiltwalkers and The Hunter Foundation will be the difference between shutting their doors and keeping going.”
The Aberdeen Kiltwalk planned for June 7 has also been postponed due to the outbreak but the Dundee event on August 16 and the Edinburgh Kiltwalk on September 13 are currently still going ahead.