A Kinloss family have raised £450 to support people with sight loss in Scotland by completing a ‘Virtual Kiltwalk’ challenge on horseback.
Mick and Cheryll Hilton and their 16-year-old daughter Imogen completed a 24-mile two-day trek from Burghead, through Roseisle pinewoods towards Findhorn and back via Roseisle beach to raise funds for the charity Sight Scotland.
Daughter Imogen has a rare disability, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which meant she was unable to cover the long distance on foot. So keen riders Imogen and mum Cheryll saddled up for the Kiltwalk with family horses Lucky and Tobias, with dad Mick walking alongside – naturally sporting his kilt for the challenge.
Imogen said: “I think supporting people with a disability is a valuable thing, and this challenge was an opportunity to do something worthwhile to support others that I could do without the EDS preventing it.”
Both Mick and Cheryll work for Sight Scotland’s sister charity, Sight Scotland Veterans. The couple support veterans with sight loss in Moray and the Highlands to adapt to life with a visual impairment.
Supporting people with sight loss each day, they understand the impact a visual impairment can have. The family wished to show support for Sight Scotland Veterans’ sister charity, with Sight Scotland setting out to reach even more people affected by sight loss in Scotland, including relatives and carers.
Mick, 47, who is an Outreach Worker for Sight Scotland Veterans and is an Armed Forces veteran himself, said: “I wanted to do something that would benefit those living with sight loss. Sight Scotland is the new name for Sight Scotland Veterans’ sister charity Royal Blind – the name changed last year so this also seemed a good way to raise awareness of the charity’s new name.
“I chose the challenge route about 10 weeks ago and had reconnoitred it twice. There were no surprises with the terrain, but the wind on the beach the first day was murder in a kilt. Day two was much better.”
Cheryll, 51, who is a Rehabilitation Officer for Sight Scotland Veterans, said: “Mick and I both work for Sight Scotland Veterans, and this seemed a good way for us to support our sister charity as a family. We appreciate the difficulties people have with disability, and the difficulty getting funding.
“Two years ago I had pneumonia, and I wanted to see if I was able to do something like this challenge now. Imogen and I had a great time galloping the horses across the sand, and a laugh watching Mick trying to catch up from half a mile back.”
Kiltwalk participants have completed the national event remotely for the second year due to pandemic restrictions. The Hunter Foundation will top up funds raised by participants by 50% following the deadline on Monday 3 May, boosting the Hilton family’s total donations for Sight Scotland.
Mick said: “I want to thank all our sponsors for their generosity. Also a special mention to Shona and Chris Enticknap for the support with water and treats. It was very gratefully received. The top-up from The Hunter Foundation is a very generous thing. We are glad Sight Scotland will benefit even more as a result.”
Kerry Lindsay, Head of Fundraising at Sight Scotland, said: “A huge thank you to Mick, Cheryll and Imogen for their fantastic fundraising efforts with their Kiltwalk challenge to raise money for Sight Scotland.
“Every hour in Scotland, someone starts to lose their sight, therefore it is vital that Sight Scotland is there for people with sight loss and their loved ones whenever and however they need us. We are so grateful to all our fundraisers; their support for Sight Scotland and the funds they raise for the charity makes a huge difference to the lives of people with sight loss and their loved ones.”
Please call 0131 446 3089 to find out more about fundraising for Sight Scotland to support people with sight loss.