Here, you can see stories about the activities and events which our supporters have organised or been involved in to raise funds for 500 miles. The most recent stories are at the top – and you can look through by date or use the search box to find a specific story.
The BIG Dinner
On 7th March 2015, thousands of people sat down to dinner – and made a huge difference for people in Africa. Our BIG dinner was a charity event with a difference, held in hundreds of homes and restaurants across the country, with a few select dinners broadcast online, including a celebrity dinner hosted by Fred MacAulay.
With the help of 900 dinners each making their own contribution, with donations, sponsorship and bids in out online auction, we smashed our target, raising more than £540,000 – and getting some great press coverage in the process →
From “Try-ing a tri” to “Ironman UK”
Denise Tracey, long time supporter of 500 miles, competed in the Ironman UK race in Bolton on 20th July. This ultimate triathlon involved a 3.8km-swim in Rivington Reservoir, a 112mile cycle (over Winter Hill which is 1,000 ft high, three times) and a 26.2 mile run (marathon distance). It would be a huge challenge for any seasoned athlete, but Denise has only been competing since 2009, when she did her first “as a challenge to myself”, you can only be amazed at how far she has come.
Denise supports 500 miles because in 2007, her husband, Jerry, lost his right leg as a result of a motorcycle accident. The couple feel that Jerry was and is very lucky to receive excellent care from Astley Ainsley Hospital in Edinburgh. Denise said, “If we had not had the medical, physical and emotional support, I don’t know what we would have done. In this country we can take the medical services for granted and when I heard about 500 miles, it struck a chord with me. I wanted to be able to share this good fortune in some way andhelp those in less supportive circumstances.”
Before the event, Denise said, “I know it will be a huge challenge, especially the swim. I am already training hard, but I am also sure I can complete it.”
Denise’s raised almost £1,300 – money which supports our students like Peter Chilewani, covering training costs. You can read more about Peter here. To read about Peter click here →
Gryffe Valley Rotary Club’s barbeque
Gryffe Valley Rotary Club once again supported 500 miles with its annual summer barbeque, which they held on Sunday 2nd June. This was their fifth year in a row that 500 miles has been the lucky beneficiary. Thank you!
10k for 500 miles
Jane Hogarth wears a below knee prosthesis as a result of an accident a few years ago – but it doesn’t hold her back! As part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on 24th May, Jane and her partner, Gerry and her friends Susan and Karen, ran the 10k – raising a fantastic £6,673.
This is the second time Jane has supported 500 miles by inspiring her friends to sponsor her. In 2011, for her 50th birthday, in lieu of presents, Jane asked to be sponsored to complete St Cuthbert’s Way – a 62.5 mile walk from Melrose to Lindesfarne. With Gerry, Susan and Carolyn she completed it in 8 stages and raised a phenomenal £4,000.
MZUZU CLYCLE CLUB RIDES FROM MZUZU TO LILONGWE
Samuel Walker, our manager at the 500 miles Centre at Mzuzu Central Hospital, convinced ten of his fellow cyclists at the Mzuzu Cycle Club to cycle from the 500 miles centre in Mzuzu to the 500 miles Centre in Lilongwe – approximately 420km – over four long days at Easter. Sam also persuaded TNM, one of the largest mobile phone companies in Malawi, to sponsor the challenge to the tune of 1,075,000 Malawi Kwacha (over £1,500)! The mission not only raised vital funds to pay for prostheses and orthoses for patients in northern region, but it also raised awareness of our service and what it can do for people. Thank you very much Sam, TNM and all who donated or suffered the sore legs to make this possible.
NIKKI’S VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON
Nikki Coleman was a good friend of amputee, Chris Hume, who died very young from Cancer. Along with Chris’s wife, family and other friends, Nikki has been a supporter of 500 miles in his memory.
To mark her 30th year with a major achievement that she could be proud of, Nikki decided to try to turn her dreams of running the London Marathon into a reality and entered the ballot. She was successful and, judging by the result, so was her training. Nikki completed the race and raised £845.60 for 500 miles – making everyone very proud of her.
PROJECT VERTICAL – INAUGURAL EVENT: THE WEE WALK
On the 22nd of February 2014, almost exactly a year after she was rushed into hospital with septicaemia, Marie Jaecky walked the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace accompanied by a host of family, friends and supporters. The reason that it was such a tremendously happy day – and that so many people were inspired to join Marie for her “wee walk” – is that she was celebrating being able to stand up and walk again after losing her lower legs and lower arms as a result of her illness. It has taken Marie months of hard work, determination and patience to get to this stage. Marie said that Project Vertical is a sign of gratitude to her loved ones, friends, colleagues and to all of the health professionals who looked after her in hospital – as well as being a practical initiative to assist those less fortunate than she is to stand and walk again too.
Marie has raised an incredible £5,000 – 5 times her target! Many of the donations have come from the continent, where Marie and her fiancé are from. To read the moving, heart-warming and well deserved tributes to Marie’s courage, spirit and character on her Just Giving page click here →
WALKERS WALK 500 MILES
Mandy and Martin Walker are the rightly proud parents of Samuel Walker, the manager of the 500 miles Centre in Mzuzu. Between October and December 2013, Mandy set out to walk a total of 500 miles in a series of walks around parks and towns in Nottingham and in Derbyshire. With the support of Martin and friends she almost got there by Hogmanay and raised £300 in the process. Thank you Mandy!
CUBS SAY BOO! FOR COMMUNITY CHALLENGE
Falkirk Cub Scout Group is not afraid of ghosts! To prove it, as part of their Community Challenge, the Wednesday Wolf Pack braved a Hallowe’en sleepover in their scout hall on Saturday 26th October 2013 and got up the next day and took part in a walk dressed as witches and wizards! Their daring, costumes, community spirit and concern for people in Africa with mobility difficulties inspired sponsorship of £270. Thanks to their leader, Fiona Scott for the idea and making it happen.
MACLAY MURRAY & SPENS RAFFLE THE NIGHT AWAY
Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, Olivia’s old firm, held a charity raffle in aid of 500 miles at its 65th Annual Vindex Dinner on Friday 4th October 2013 at Oran Mor. Along with some fabulous frocks and terrific tartan there were great prizes on offer, including tasty restaurant vouchers, a day of fishing and, a “Santa in a Spin” board game and enough whiskey to set up a shop. The raffle raised a wonderful £964.15 which was generously matched by the firm, raising the total to a marvellous £1,928.30. Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable night, made even better by raising money for 500 miles.
Maclays staff and partners have also personally donated a number of nearly new, second hand laptops which have been given to our sponsored students.
GORDON AND DAVID’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
Gordon Hunter and David Williams are property professionals – with a crazy climbing habit which they have used to 500 miles’ great advantage. In September 2013 they went to Argentina and Chile to climb volcanoes – as you do! – Longquimay, Lliama, Villerrica and Osorno. (Lliama (right) erupted as recently as May 2011!) They climbed over 36,000ft in total and cited incidents such as – an electrical storm forcing a retreat on the 2nd of three attempts to climb Villerrica, only one of four volcanoes in the world with an active lava lake in the Calders – and descending Osorno in rapidly failing weather, covering 5,000ft of glaciated terrain on skis in a total white out. How did they settle back down at a desk?! Hopefully an enormous sense of achievement and pride in the £6,500 these incredible adventurers raised for 500 miles from their generous friends and colleagues, will have been solace as they hung up their snow skis and ice axes – until next time no doubt!
TA FOR TAI CHI
The ladies of Margaret Mackie and Allison Plenderleith’s Tai Chi class in Carluke showed that they are not only fit and flexible – but fabulous fundraisers, by delivering a cheque for 500 miles for a very unexpected but equally welcome £1,000.
A VERY SPECIAL 60TH FOR ROS
Ros Barclay celebrated her 60th birthday with a lovely party for 500 miles in St Joseph Catholic Church hall on 13th July 2013. The raffle prize and auction lot tables were stacked high with wrapped parcels and desirables which Ros had gathered by many ingenious means. The food was plentiful and delicious especially the family baking contribution. The games included guess the teddy’s birthday and find the key for the door. Entertainment was by DJ, and X Factor contestant, Storm, and the very talented Scott MacDonald. Ros raised a wonderful total of £1,600 and what is even more amazing is that this is the second time that Ros has given her time, effort and charm for the benefit of 500 miles on her birthday. Ros’s biggest problem was convincing anybody that she is really 60! Here is Ros, celebrating in her favourite colour, purple, and showing off the cake with her friend Annemarie.
A GRAND TRAVERSE FOR MADDY
If you are going to walk 500 miles then the Grand Traverse des Alpes – from Lake Geneva to Nice – is possibly one of the nicest routes to choose. But it was still 500 grueling miles of ascent and descent – day after day. That’s how 16-year-old Maddy Rudge chose to spend the summer of 2013, accompanied by Mum and Dad, Pauline and Daniel – all for the sake of the patients of 500 miles. Maddy heard about us from her Aunty Morag (who ran the Hairy Haggis Marathon Relay for us a couple of years ago), and went on to set up her own Just Giving page. Maddy’s feat so impressed her friends and family that they sponsored her to the tune of a very impressive £2,512!
GRYFFE VALEY ROTARY CLUB’S SUMMER PARTY
In June, Gryffe Valley Rotary Club held a faithful fourth summer garden barbeque in aid of 500 miles. Mike and Kay Farley opened their home and garden, which was in peak bloom, to club members and their friends once again. Many guests joined the party, the food and drink flowed, raffle prizes piled up and the sun shone. For once there were no warm coats in sight! It all fused to generate a record £1,324 which was supplemented by the club (again) to provide another wonderful donation of £1,500 to 500 miles.
EDINBURGH ACADEMY PRIMARY PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS
Thanks to Mathew Peel who was serving on the charities committee when he was in P3, the pupils, parents and staff of The Edinburgh Academy Junior School got right behind 500 miles last year. They were led by head teacher, Gavin Calder and new teacher, Alison Hogg who embraced the project with wonderful enthusiasm. They collected over 200 pairs of good quality, second hand shoes for distribution to our projects. And on the fundraising side, they pulled out all the stops – from the Edinburgh Academy Film and TV Awards night to the brilliant staff pantomime, Cinderella – and from many cakes bakes to a Funky Fashion Day – and culminating in a sponsored walk in Inverleith Park where everyone dressed up their legs to walk one mile each to raise money for legs for 500 miles’ patients. Please click on the picture above to watch the video. The Edinburgh Academy’s end of term “Big Picnic” made a generous contribution and at the school’s 100th Exhibition in June, Olivia was delighted to accept a cheque for an almost unbelievable £10,112!
SOUTH MORNINGSIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL WALK 1,074 MILES
£5,500 from South Morningside Primary School! June Guthrie, friend of 500 miles and mum of Lindsay and Katie who go to South Morningside Primary School, introduced Olivia and 500 miles to Mrs Grierson, the head teacher in 2010. This school does a lot of fundraising for charities so 500 miles was very lucky to be chosen for support last year. The proceeds from the 2012 Christmas concert were donated to 500 miles and a full car-load of good quality second hand shoes was collected for shipping to our projects. But the really big money-maker was the sponsored walk on 8th and 9th May in Braidburn Park in which everyone took part completing a total of 1,074 miles. The Proclaimers sing “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more” – the extra 74 were obviously for very good measure indeed when you consider how much the children inspired their families and friends to donate.
CLASSIC CARS IN KILLEARN
During her year as President, Pamela Maxwell introduced 500 miles Strathendrick Rotary Club – and how glad we were! It put us in the frame for benefitting from the club’s annual classic car tour at Killearn in April 2013. It was organised by Joe Norman and involved 80 fabulous cars and their crews who all defied the wet weather to put on a fabulous show and raise £7,000. 500 miles’ substantial share of the booty, added to the proceeds of an excellent raffle at a club dinner and private donations from club members or friends took the total donated by through this generous club to an amazing £5,740. Click here to read the full report on the classic car tour.
On Saturday 27th April, Rhona Campbell, a fourth year student of prosthetics and orthotics at Strathclyde University, jumped out of a plane in a tandem skydive for 500 miles. And here’s the proof! She raised a terrific £310 for her nerve and bravery. It was great to see a student of prosthetics and orthotics here in Scotland raising money to help us provide a service in Africa and to hear how many of her colleagues supported her.
OLD SONGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
On Sunday 21st April a singing audience of over 300 people joined a 100-strong gathered choir at St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh to sing 16 “old songs” – brightly and beautifully. They raised their voices, raised the rafters – and raised a fantastic £5,000 for 500 miles! This was largely enabled by the generous sponsorship of William Purves Funeral Directors.
Inspired by the idea of Marion Marshall of Edinburgh choir, Springwell Golden Voices, Margaret Grant took on the role of Musical Director and chose the hymns with Marion and then gathered and rehearsed her choir with ferocious energy and great spirit – and we all enjoyed the professional and fun result.
St Cuthbert’s organist, Jeremy Cull, played the organ throughout with trumpet accompaniment from Isaac Tolley. Solo soprano opera singer, Janet de Vigne sang Holy City and Panis Angelicus. The presenter, Bill Copeland brought his patter from Glasgow and kept us all laughing between songs all the way to Thine Be The Glory. All were much appreciated by the audience and choir.
MARATHON MAN AT 66
Peter McGavigan, a retired GP, ran the London Virgin Marathon for 500 miles on Sunday 21st April raising a wonderful £1,800 – 80% more than his original target. Peter sustained quite a serious knee injury about three weeks before the race forcing him to miss some of his training schedule but he went ahead to take part and despite severe cramps three miles from the end, in his words, he “walked, limped and grimaced” his way to the finish line.
DANCING BUFFS WALK HADRIAN’S WALL
Christina and David France, keen dancers and long-time supporters of 500 miles used their Easter holidays to raise funds for us by walking Hadrian’s Wall. What was remarkable about this is that Christina, a physics teacher at Gracemount High School, has major artificial parts in both legs and suffers from an underactive thyroid and asthma and David, who was about to retire from work at the Inland Revenue, has sleep apnea, Ménière’s disease and an internal heart monitor. Walking Hadrian’s Wall was a major challenge for both of them but clearly they try not to let these disabilities get in the way of enjoying life. It was heartening that they wanted to help others have the same chance of enjoying their mobility. No wonder their colleagues, friends and family supported their fundraising so enthusiastically! They raised a huge £1,300.
NEWARTHILL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Following on their musical fundraising in May 2012, the pupils of Newarthill Primary School raised another incredible £550 for 500 miles from Christmas to Easter through a Christmas dress down day, a Valentine’s raffle drawn at the spring disco, a sale of Taylor Ferguson’s gran’s cakes, a raffle of an Easter basket specially prepared by P6 and rounded of with an end of term African afternoon to celebrate their “Amazing Africa” topics.
LENTEN SUPPORT FROM ST ALBERT’S CATHOLIC CHAPLAINCY
Neil Farrell, a former colleague of Olivia’s, introduced 500 miles to Father Dermot Morrin of St Albert’s Catholic Chaplaincy at Edinburgh University in December 2012. With little prompting, St Albert’s and its members went on to raise over £3,600 for 500 miles during and around Lent 2013 in a variety of novel ways. It all started on Shrove Tuesday with a lemon pancake bake and sale on a huge scale. Other activities included Kevin Rennie’s sponsored haircut and Des Nolan’s selling of bush clippings. The imaginative and lucrative activities culminated in an African evening which was coordinated and delivered largely by Jane Fletcher whose imaginative food, table decorations, slide show and collages clearly inspired people to be very generous. Just as well this was a few weeks after Lent!
COOL AS A CUCUMBER CARDS AT ST GEORGE’S
Led by Managing Director, Katie Cessford, the Young Enterprise Company at St George’s School for Girls raised £338.90 for 500 miles by designing making and selling Christmas cards and greetings cards. The cards were sold at a trade fair at the Apex Hotel and the school fair as well as to friends and family. Well done and many thanks girls!
CALENDARS BY LAURA WATSON
Not many school pupils contemplating their Highers would add to their load by voluntarily fundraising during the winter term, all on their own initiative – but that’s what Laura Watson did when she decided to use her talent in flower photography to design and produce an illustrated calendar for 2013 for sale to friends and family for 500 miles, her entrepreneurial drive to secure sponsorship for each page from local businesses and her charm to make many sales. This all resulted in a net profit of £1,110 which she donated to 500 miles
Laura’s motivation comes from the fact that she was born with double talipes, has undergone a lot of surgery and wears orthoses to support her feet and ankles. She knows that these devices are as vital for people with disabilities in Africa as they are for her.
The empathy, enterprise and initiative demonstrated by this remarkable young woman inspired a few private donations and her school, St Columba’s School in Kilmacolm, to donate the proceeds from its Christmas carol concert – another £621- to 500 miles.
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM CAMBUSNETHAN
Cambusnethan North Church issues Christmas cards to the congregation each year. By making a donation, members can have their names printed on these cards. For Christmas 2012, the Congregational Board agreed to send all donations to 500 miles. Children in the Sunday School designed the front cover of the four styles of card – two of which are shown here. We were delighted that the children also sent their cards to the centres that we work with in Malawi and Zambia – and that the Church raised £700 for us!
John Carney was working for a medical research company based in Geneva called Shire, which develops treatments in neuroscience, rare diseases, gastrointestinal, internal medicine and regenerative medicine where the impact of their medicines can make an immediate and tangible difference for patients. Shire’s mission statement is “to be as brave as the people they help”. John first contacted us in March 2012 to suggest how he wanted to apply that philosophy to do some fundraising for 500 miles – a climb of the north face of one of the more challenging peaks in Chamonix in the Alps.
Bad weather and bad luck mean that the actual climb could not take place until November that year when he and his climbing companions scaled the Aiguille des Pelerins via the Carrington-Rouse route. John put as much effort into his fundraising as the sponsored climb and raised £805.30 – which was very kindly “matched” by Shire with a donation of 1,000 CHF – making a super total of £1,485. Judging by the terrifying picture, John was indeed as brave as our patients that he helped!
GEORGE WATSON’S COLLEGE’S PRIMARY 5’S WALK THE TALK
Teacher Mr MacDonell invited Olivia to come and talk to Primary 5 at George Watson’s College about 500 miles at the start of the new school year. There were some excellent questions as the pupils tried to understand how they could help people with disabilities in Africa. Then in October the children and staff threw themselves into a sponsored walk in which the 140 participants walked just over 3.5 miles each round the school grounds – making a perfect 500 miles. Spirits remained high all the way round the course because the sun shone and each P5 class had written new words for one verse of The Proclaimers’ “500 miles song” and they sang as they walked. It all ended in a big cake sale.
Very generous sponsorship, plus the cake bake sale proceeds, amounted to an astounding £3,700. But that wasn’t all. In February 2013, 500 miles received another unexpected donation of £2000.91 from Watsons’ P5s which had been raised from various activities including the Christmas concert and carol service, the Christmas fair and the toy fair, meaning that this one year group raised a total of £5,700.91 for 500 miles!
INNER WHEEL DISTRICT 21 OVERSEAS RALLY
Lilleshall in Shropshire was the venue for Inner Wheel’s District 21’s Overseas Rally on the 11th of October led by President Sandra Finch. It poured all day but enticing stalls selling all manner of things, packed lunches and lots of tea kept spirits high and 500 miles, which shared the stage with Sightsavers that day, benefited by a lovely £700.
For the second time in 2012, Elizabeth Garrett invited her friends for lunch at her home and invited donations for 500 miles. In May it was a musical event but this literary treat on the 21st of October featured talks from two well-known Scottish writers, Maggie Craig and Michael Malone who both entertained us with anecdotes and memories from their careers and willingly gave writing tips before we enjoyed a delicious lunch and asked more questions.
GEORGE WATSON’S COLLEGE 5TH & 6TH YEARS CAME TO SEE US IN MALAWI
Led by school matron, Mrs Rae, a group of 24 pupils from 5th and 6th year at George Watson’s College planned a trip to Malawi for October 2012. There are so many small Scottish charities working in Malawi that it must have been hard to narrow down their choice to just the four that they would visit and support with pre-trip fundraising – but 500 miles was lucky enough to be one of them. 500 miles received £1,000 and the pupils also donated a couple of pairs of shoes each which they very kindly carried out for us along with laptops for our students and white uniforms for the staff. Here are some of the group outside the 500 miles Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital.
GOLDEN WEDDING CELEBRATIONS
Valerie and Anthony West are Martin West’s mum and dad. Ever since his own massive fundraising challenge for 500 miles back in September 2008 when he swam Lake Windermere, Martin has been a wonderful ambassador for 500 miles – and this has resulted in his parents choosing 500 miles as the beneficiary of their Golden Wedding. They held a large party at on Saturday 1st September and very generously asked guests to make a donation to 500 miles instead of making gifts to them. They raised £2,000 as well as inspiring a large donation from a trust of which a close family member is a trustee.
AFTERNOON TEA IN PENICUIK
Jean Lennie and her friends in Penicuik understand leverage! On their own initiative they held a series of afternoon teas in each other’s houses and raised a tasty £527 for 500 miles – but not content with that, they challenged Penicuik Rotary to Club to double their efforts – which they generously and obligingly did with another £1,055!
FITNESS CHICKS AT FAIRMILEHEAD
Encouraged by class member Jean Terry (who makes greetings cards for 500 miles), Sarah Munro, aerobics instructor at Fairmilehead Parish Church, raised £230 for 500 miles by charging extra for her class on 14th September and donating all of her own profit. Of course fancy dress was essential! Lennie’s almond slices were well deserved after all had marched off some calories to “500 miles”.
ATHERSTONE INNER WHEEL DOES US PROUD
Sue Smalley and Sandra Screaton met Olivia off the train when she went to talk to Atherstone Inner Wheel Club and guests from Atherstone Rotary Club at a lovely dinner at the Red Lion on the 5th of September. A gift of £1,450 followed, raised from the dinner itself and the Club’s summer activities including an imaginative Olympic garden sports day and afternoon teas. We were really surprised to then receive yet another £350, this time raised from a Christmas skittles night and a delicious sounding 3P’s (Pasta, Pudding and Punch!) evening. Together with a generous donation of £500 from Atherstone Rotary Club, that made a total of £2,300 from Atherstone.
AFTERNOON TEA AT FAIRMILEHEAD
On the 25th of August the young “Pathfinders” of Fairmilehead Parish Church, led by Haley O’Conner, made sandwiches, scones and cakes galore and invited the congregation of the Church and their friends to come to the church hall for afternoon tea and coffee – wearing their best hats. Between the cakes and the bonnets, the hall was full of colour and plenty of good cheer – and £220 was raised for 500 miles.
Completely on their own initiative and at just 10 years old, Rachel Hughes and Millie Goldrick raised £125 for 500 miles during the summer holidays of 2012 by making and selling cupcakes to their friends and neighbours. The delicious cupcakes were priced at 50p each – but that was a bargain by all accounts! What a great combination of entrepreneurship, talent salesmanship – and kindness!
16 MUNROS IN 24 HOURS
George Rendall is a podiatrist so he had a good idea of the relief that foot orthoses can bring to many who can walk only with difficulty or pain. Maybe his professional connection is what helped him to raise nearly £982.65 when he took on the challenge of climbing 16 Munro tops in 24 hours for 500 miles in June 2012. Click here to read George’s own report →
GARDEN LUNCH IN GRYFFE VALLEY
Gryffe Valley Rotary Club has been a faithful friend to 500 miles. For the third year in a row, Mike and Kay Farley very kindly hosted a wonderful garden lunch to boost the funds of the Club enabling it to make another very generous donation to 500 miles – that year of £1,500. Winter jackets were the order of the day – again – but the superb buffet, flowing drinks and splendid raffle all kept spirits high and a great time was had by all.
Drinks followed by “lyrical jazz” followed by lunch at her home – was Elizabeth Garrett’s tempting invitation to her friends for Sunday 13th May. The music was provided by Ian Logan (piano) and Paddy Imhof (double bass) – and lunch by Elizabeth. A recording of the concert was made and was later featured by Gordon Macfarlane on Uplift Radio including an interview with Ian about 500 miles which made for an excellent advert. Elizabeth made no charge for the event but very kindly invited donations for 500 miles. You can listen to a podcast in the “Specials” section by following this link →
A CELEBRATION OF YOUTH MUSIC
Newarthill Primary School was one of 10 primary schools selected to participate in North Lanarkshire’s “A Celebration of Youth Music” in 2011/2012. The Primary 7 classes wrote the words of a song around the theme of social responsibility and were assisted by a musician, an artist and a creative writer to record the song on a CD.The school choirs were then invited to perform their P7s’ song, once in Motherwell Civic Centre – and once in the Glasgow Concert Hall. The schools also had to choose a charity to benefit from the proceeds of sales of the CDs. We were delighted when headteacher, Mrs Kennedy, told us that 500 miles had been unanimously chosen. Newarthill Primary’s song was called “They all give us something”. It raised a fabulous £500 for 500 miles and the cheque was presented by the whole school in May 2012.
JOHN O’GROATS TO EDINBURGH IN 24 HOURS – AND A BIT
Currie Community High School raised an amazing £4,240 for 500 miles in the 2011/2012 session. Funds were raised by staff donations instead of exchanging Christmas cards, a dress down day, a quiz, a talent contest and a sleepover but £2,750 of the total was raised by teacher, Lewis Paterson and pupils Adrian Clark and Harris McGaff through sponsorship of their grueling challenge – to cycle from John O’Groats to Edinburgh Castle in 24 hours starting at 8am on the 4th of April 2012. The team arrived at the Castel ramparts on the 5th – rather battered through injury and bike damage – and little bit later than the 8am target – but who would have predicted that in April they would be cycling through snow in -8 degrees?!
ELLA’S SPONSORED SWIM
ELLA (www.ella-uk.co.uk) is the Edinburgh Limb Loss Association, a support group for lower limb amputees. This friendly group of amputees challenged itself to swim a total of 500 lengths on the 26th of March 2012 and asked friends and family to sponsor them. 500 miles received a very generous £900 from the proceeds. We thought it was brilliant that a group of amputees in Scotland used their mobility in the water to raise funds for less fortunate amputees in Africa to achieve mobility through prosthetic devices.
MARION MARSHALL AND SPRINGWELL GOLDEN VOICES CHOIR
Marion Marshall is a great ambassador for 500 miles. Olivia first met Marion when she spoke at Slateford Longstone Church Guild which made a donation of £163.35 to 500 miles. Marion went on to encourage her Guild to hold its Guild Week Songs of Praise in aid of 500 miles raising another £220. Then Marion made up a quiz about Edinburgh and through her choir, Springwell Golden Voices (many of whose members she rounded up to take part in Old Songs Bright and Beautiful in April 2013) she sold it making another £521.
SEMI-MARATHON DE PARIS
Student Jenny Reid ran a half marathon in Paris on the 4th of March with her dad raising £30.
INNER WHEEL DISTRICT 14 OVERSEAS RALLY
Inner Wheel District 14’s Overseas Rally of 2012 was held in Chertsy in unseasonal warm sunshine on the 24th of March. White table covers and best china set the tone for a charmed day of picnics and friendship. There were many stalls and much serious activity along with the formalities and fun – but even so, we would not have anticipated the cheque for £3,374 which President, Lynda Talbot subsequently sent us. £524 of that sum was raised through Maureen Jones’s Olympic Evening at which, in anticipation of the London Olympics, she invited former Olympians to talk to her guests about their experiences. District 14 has since donated another £1,010 to 500 miles making a super-generous total of £4,384.
CHRISTMAS IN CORSHAM
Corsham Primary School decided to support 500 miles as part of its Christmas 2011 appeal donating a wonderful £497 from the proceeds of the children’s Christmas activities. They said they wanted to raise enough for a leg and an operation but ended up raising enough for 8! This school discovered 500 miles because one of its teachers is John Eley’s mum – and John is a great supporter of 500 miles. You may remember that John ran the Glasgow half marathon for 500 miles in September 2011 along with fellow students of prosthetics and orthotics at Strathclyde University, Scott McNabb, Cosmo Born and Ryan Cassidy. John also came out to Malawi in the summer of 2012 to see our work and to help us with some manual labour in establishing the 500 miles Centre in Mzuzu.
Maria Fleming, a student of prosthetics and orthotics at Strathclyde University makes greetings cards to her own design. At Christmas 2011 she donated 50p per Christmas card sold to 500 miles raising £60 for us.
THE INN KEEPER’S BREAKFAST AND OTHER FUNDRAISING AT CORNBANK
For the second year in a row, the Pupil Council of Cornbank St James Primary School in Penicuik decided to donate the proceeds of the school’s fundraising to 500 miles. We gratefully accepted a cheque for £643.45 in April 2012 – but one of the main fundraising activities had been the brilliant Christmas play, the Inn Keeper’s breakfast, directed by Irene Howie. Every pupil took part and talent abounded especially from the inn keeper and the P7 dancers.
CHRISTMAS CAROL CONCERT
The celebrated Glasgow Phoenix Choir donated £500 to 500 miles from the proceeds of its Christmas carol concert held in Edinburgh on the 11th of December 2011. Many thanks to soprano, Gillian Downie, for nominating 500 miles as one of the beneficiaries and to conductor and musical director, Marilyn Smith and all of the choristers for a memorable afternoon.
GLASGOW UNI NURSES HAVING A BALL
The University of Glasgow Annual Nursing Ball is an opportunity for those in their final year to say goodbye to and celebrate their forthcoming graduations as well as to welcome the new first year students – and for everyone in between to have a great night out with their fellow students and staff. Every year the final year organisers choose a charity to benefit from the proceeds of a big raffle. Linzi Clark nominated 500 miles for this honour in 2011 and with her committee took on the organisation of the raffle. The ball which was held on Saturday the 15th of October was a great success and 500 miles was delighted to receive £300. Unfortunately the photographer didn’t turn up – hence the single mobile phone shot of the whole event – or that’s what they told us!
Carol McLelland entertained us throughout 2011 with reports and photos of her monthly walks along the Fife Coastal Path. By the end of the year she had walked the entirety of the route, from North Queensferry to St Andrews, joined for each different section by a different group (together with the ever-present Carol Graham). Thankfully, Carol and co had good luck with the weather over each of the 9 walks – so they didn’t get too weather-beaten in raising a fantastic £577.
FUNDS IN THE PIPELINE
For the second year running, Les Dickson nominated 500 miles as the chosen charity for the Pipeline Industries Guild’s annual Scottish dinner, held in Glasgow. At the dinner, Peter Mitchell was on form as master of ceremonies and auctioneer, leading the fundraising drive and helping raise £7,525.50.
There are probably few people who understand our work better than John Eyley, Scott McNabb, Cosmo Born and Ryan Cassidy – as students of prosthetics and orthotics at Strathclyde University. Given their professional understanding of what 500 miles is all about, it was great to have their support when they ran the Great Scottish Half-Marathon in Glasgow, raising more than £500.
A SPECIAL 50TH FOR JANE
For her 50th birthday in 2011, Jane Hogarth decided that she didn’t want any presents – and instead wanted to be sponsored for her St Cuthbert’s Way challenge. Together with her team mates, Susan, Carolyn and Gerry, she completed the last section of the 62.5 mile walk which runs from Melrose to Lindesfarne. With the donations from all her friends, family and colleagues, Jane raised a tremendous £4,000 – all the more phenomenal when you consider that she wears a below-knee prosthesis as a result of an accident a few years previously. Impressed?
500 MILES… IN ONE AFTERNOON
How do you walk 500 miles in one afternoon? Marion Orr had the answer – get around 100 people (and a dog) together and walk 5 miles each. The walk took place on a pretty damp day, but everyone seemed to have a great time nevertheless and the walkers were all smiles. Marion and her team did fantastically – raising almost £2,500, including £700 match funding from RBS organised by Louise Wood and £525 from the Braes High School, partially raised through the sale of their yearbook.
FOR SHE’S A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW…
Rosalyn Barclay, a fellow meningitis survivor, generously held her birthday party for 500 miles – and what a party it was. On a Saturday night in Clarkston, the party featured everything you might expect, with food, drink, music and dancing, as well as plenty you wouldn’t, with a book sale, competitions, 500 miles cakes, a raffle, an auction and a raucous rendition of everyone’s favourite Proclaimers’ classic. The money rolled in. Rosalyn had hoped to raise as much as £500. In fact she raised well over £1,600 – a fantastic achievement.
A YEAR AT KEMNAY
Every year, Kemnay Academy in Inverurie adopts a charity – and for the 2010/2011 session, running up to June, 500 miles was the lucky charity. The year started off with a special challenge laid on by Jasmine Holdings, with match funding of £1,000 being the prize. The charity committee, led by Deputy Rector, Mrs Jones, presented their fundraising plans for the year and wowed the judges.
Victorious, they went on to organise dress-down days, bag-packing and a golf day for local business people, which included a raffle and auction with the most amazing prizes – which must have taken some sourcing. There was even a special collection of 5 pence pieces, aiming for a mile of 5p’s. Altogether over the year, Kemnay managed to raise an incredible £8,000.
500 MILES TOOK ON ROB ROY
Maureen Polson is a great friend and has supported 500 miles in many ways since we started the charity. In 2011 she got together a 500 miles team for the Rob Roy Challenge – the flagship event for the Martin Currie Charitable Trust, which is one of our major supporters. The challenge is to walk and cycle 55 miles of the Rob Roy Way, individually or in relay. Maureen, together with Shona Gossart provided support for the 500 miles team – led by Jim Hiddleston, with Lesley Goodman, Raymond Trainer and Craig Beattie.
Battling rain, midges and punctures, they managed to raise an impressive £3,250 for the Martin Currie Trust – including £1,380 raised through a ceilidh, clothes swap and ‘swish nights’, which Maureen organised.
If you’ve got what it takes (and you’re crazy enough) to take on the Rob Roy Challenge, you can find out more at www.robroychallenge.com
AND I WOULD WALK…
John Starr, Euan Kidston, Robert Starr and James MacIntosh really took the 500 miles message to heart. In June 2011 they did the incredible – and walked the 500 miles from Edinburgh to London, collecting sponsorship of £1,167.75. It was a remarkable and generous feat – and especially kind as we were not even aware that this was happening until they set up a Just Giving Page and set off on a walk to help others who couldn’t. Just brilliant!
For the second year running, Kay and Mike Farley hosted a BBQ for the Rotary Club of Gryffe Valley at their beautiful home and garden in Houston. As the wine flowed, the wind blew – it turned out to be one of the windiest days in May, which made life tricky in the marquees – but there were no casualties. With a sumptuous buffet, lots of home cooking and, of course, fresh meat on the grill, the afternoon was a great success and raised a wonderful £1,618.25
When Girvan Academy Guidance Teacher, Mrs Aitken, led a programme designed to build resilience in pupils – called Bounce Back – she decided to take it beyond the classroom. Not content with teaching the Senior 1 class techniques and lessons about bouncing back (we know a few stories like that from our patients), Ellen led the class in a sponsored bounce on space hoppers, raising £725 in the process.
MAUREEN DID IT AGAIN
The Goth in Armadale was the venue for a dinner dance which raised a fantastic £1,602.50 for 500 miles. It was all down to Maureen Bell, who not only organised the buffet and raffle, but is also married to the night’s evening main attraction – or at least, their lead singer – Philip. With the music provided by Wee Three, the evening was a huge success, made all the more impressive by the fact that this was the second year in a row that Maureen had organised the night.
SPRING IN SONG
The Edinburgh Concert Band and James Gillespies Primary School Choir joined forces for a lively spring concert at Morningside United Church (MUC) and raised an impressive £2,532.52. Conducted by Sarah Cunningham, the Edinburgh Concert Band is a community group of around 60 amateur woodwind, brass and percussion players. On the day, the band performed a wide selection of classical, traditional and modern pieces, while the enthusiastic boys and girls of Gillespies’ choir provided a choral interlude. All in all, the concert raised the roof and, thanks to MUC’s hosting and sponsorship, it alsdo raised a great deal of funds for 500 miles. MUC are long-time friends and supporters of 500 miles.
CHRISTMAS AT CORNBANK PRIMARY – WITH THE ALIENS
Cornbank Primary School in Penicuik has offered to raise funds for 500 miles in the 2010/2011 session which was most welcome. Donations were taken at both performances of the school’s absolutely brilliant nativity play, “Christmas with the Aliens”, in which primary classes 1 to 3 told the Christmas story to some very green aliens who had crash landed on earth.
FIRHILL HIGH SCHOOL BUY A MILE
Firrhill High School’s Charity Committee led by Graham Proctor and Rachel Krol, has very kindly decided to make 500 miles one of the charities which it supports in its 2010/2011 session. We were delighted to receive £591.60 just before Christmas 2010. This was raised through a sponsored walk earlier in the year and by pupils and staff buying “miles” in the “Buy a Mile” campaign.
CHRISTMAS RAFFLES AT CPHVA
Sunderland and Northumbria forums of CPHVA raised £90 and £60 respectively from Christmas raffles and donations and very kindly donated them to 500 miles.
CHRISTMAS BAKING IN THE CHIEF NURSE’S DIRECTORATE
The Chief Nursing Officer Directorate of the Scottish Government held a Christmas cake bake and silent auction and donated the proceeds of £200 to 500 miles. This is the second time 500 miles has been the beneficiary of this department’s baking skills and generosity.
CUPCAKES AT CENTOTRE
Centotre clocked up 10p on every cupcake sold at the café/restaurant in Edinburgh all year. We were absolutely thrilled to receive a cheque for £562.60 from Victor and Carina in November. That’s a lot of cupcakes – and delicious they were!
BUSINESS WOMEN SCOTLAND
Lynne Kennedy is the Editor of Business Women Scotland, a glossy bi-monthly magazine. Out of the blue she offered to donate the proceeds of an auction that she arranged at one of Business Women Scotland’s networking events to 500 miles. John Amabile conducted the auction and we received a most welcome £865.
PIPELINE INDUSTRIES GUILD DINNER
The Pipeline Industries Guild (Scottish Branch) adopted 500 miles as the beneficiary of the fundraising at their annual dinner in Glasgow. Les Dickson is the Chairman of the branch and it was he who very kindly put 500 miles in the frame. The dinner was a fabulous event but even more fabulous was the total amount that it raised – £9,000! – not to mention two large follow-on donations.
FIN DUNCAN AND FAMILY ENTERTAIN AT HOME
Susan and Chris Duncan and Judy and Graham Probert and their families hosted a magnificent dinner for their paying friends in October. The wonderful setting was Susan’s and Chris’s home, a former horse mill that has been restored by architect, Chris. It was a special evening of marvelous food and entertainment with a raffle and auction compeered very amusingly by Graham. The whole event raised a massive £3,014.40. Susan’s son Fin Duncan, kindly put 500 miles in the frame for support and Chris gave us very valuable professional support in relation to 500 miles construction project in Mzuzu, Malawi.
AMSTERDAM MARATHON GIRL
Barbara Ross chose to celebrate her 40th birthday by running the Amsterdam Marathon on the 17th of October. She said that she felt lucky to be able to choose to take on the challenge. 500 miles was lucky to receive £754!
A LANDMARK KILOMETRE
Jeannette Adu-Bobie is long-time friend of 500 miles and a multiple amputee herself. This is how she reported on her fundraising kilometer in September 2010 – which raised a huge £5,885.02:
“My prosthetist, John, made me legs for walking and that’s what I did! I walked 500m and 500m more to be the girl that walked 1km during the Two2Go event at Hackney Marshes on September 11th. Two2Go is part of a series of events leading up to the London Olympics. I crossed the finish line in under an hour to receive a medal.”
BANKERS AT RBS ARE GENEROUS
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Corporate, Retail and Wealth Businesses Department, led by Ian Carson, used its off-site conference in Corstorphine in September to raise a stunning £5,500 for 500 miles with some help from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s match funding scheme. The money was raised through an auction and raffle in which the prizes ranged from an intriguing set of semi-permanent eyelash extensions to two much sought after tickets to the GAA final.
INSTANT TATTOO PHOTOGRAPHY
Following on her “Need a Hand” photography exhibition for 500 miles (see under April 2010) Kathryn Gatt went on to team up with Martin Edwards to further support 500 miles to the tune of £163.80 with their “instant tattoo emporium” at the Bristol Harvest Festival. The photo explains!
CLAUDIA’S HALF MARATHON
Claudia Raso, who has raised money for 500 miles on a number of occasions, ran a half marathon in and raised another £320 in sponsorship.
CONGRATULATIONS MRS EDWARDS
Linsey Edwards (formerly Linsey Fraser), a Scottish prosthetist working in Nottingham, used her marriage to Aaron on 14th August to raise £100 for 500 miles. She also designed lovely little 500 miles badges to give to her guests as wedding favours. These badges were so perfect that we have ordered our own.
LUCY’S AND GENEVEIVE’S ART EXHIBITION
Lucy Parsons and Genevieve Draper generously donated the proceeds from a weekend-long exhibition of their stunning paintings, sketches and sculptures to 500 miles. £552 was raised mainly by donation of a percentage of the price of artwork sold but also through donations at the event. This is one of Lucy’s paintings.
CRAIG FAILL CYCLES WITH TRAILBRAKES
Craig Faill raised a lovely £1,401.18 for 500 miles through being sponsored to complete a grueling 500-mile cycle which Trailbrakes very kindly organised to support 500 miles for the second year in a row. The 9-day cycle in August took Craig and his fellow cyclists along all the best cycle routes in Scotland – beautiful but sore!
THE HUDSON FAMILY CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO
Patrick and Ed Hudson and Clare Daniel are the children of Greta and John Hudson. They are friends of John Jellis who runs FlySpec (one of the projects that 500 miles works with in Zambia). Patrick, Ed and Clare, with their children, got behind FlySpec in 2010 with two separate climbs of Mount Kilimanjaro. Patrick and Ed with their sons George and Charlie Hudson hit the summit first in the middle of August, raising £7,742.56 in sponsorship and Clare and her sons, Hugo and Rowland Daniel, completed their challenge in the last week of the same month. The Daniels’ efforts were increased to a total of £5,005.26 by donations earned when Clare talked at The British Ladies Society dinner in Kuwait (where she lives) on 1st November. The total raised by the Hudson family for FlySpec (with the Gift Aid that 500 miles was able to claim for them) was an enormous £12,747.82 which was made over to FlySpec.
10K IN MEMORY OF ROELOF
Corli van Molendorff and her friend Ewan took part in a 10K run – the furthest they had ever run – on 18th July raising £253.85 in sponsorship. Roelof, a late friend of Corli’s family, who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident but who subsequently used a prosthesis to live his life to the full was Corli’s inspiration to support 500 miles.
LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS
Charlie Frith walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End in two chunks. The first part was in September 2009 when Charlie developed a stress fracture causing her to break off. In April 2010 she picked up where she had left off, just outside of Edinburgh. She finished her challenge on a pouring wet day at Land’s End early in June. Charlie raised £1094.32 for 500 miles but that was only a third of the money she raised from her walk with Shelter and Samaritans also benefitting.
THE WAGS OF GREENBANK ARE SMART AS WELL AS FASHIONABLE
The WAGs (Women at Greenbank) have been wonderful supporters of 500 miles in 2010 thanks to Kirsteen Pink’s introduction and stalwart support. As well as making a healthy donation of £870 in March after one of their regular social evenings and making a contribution of about £2,000 to the total raised by 500 legs (see under April 2010), the WAGs donated another £1,375 as a third of the proceeds from a wonderful fashion show which they staged in June. That comes to £4,245 before we count a number of personal commitments to ongoing support.
ARTS AND CRAFT SALE
The Port William Community Shop raised £900 for 500 miles from the sale of arts and crafts from their community shop. Thank you!
FIFTY IN FIFE
Clare Lardner (extreme left in the photo) celebrated her 50th birthday with “Fifty in Fife”. Clare gathered her friends together to walk fifty miles along the Fife Coastal Path on Sunday the 19th of June starting at 4am! A core group completed the full 50 miles with Clare but the final round up was that 43 people walked 799 miles, 2 dogs walked 24 doggy miles and Hugh and Eel sailed 10 miles, making a total of 833 miles under their own steam! Clare has raised over £2,150 for 500 miles (with an equal amount going to War Child) through sponsorship of the main walking event, a wine tasting evening, a car boot sale (see below), a coffee morning and a raffle – and by inspiring a number of her friends to raise money too. It was a truly superb effort!
Blazin Paddles and Bibby Line Group raised £220.50 for 500 miles. Blazin Paddles raised the principal sum by taking part in the Chester Dragon Boat Race dressed as cowboys and Indians – we wish we’d seen that! And Bibby Line Group kindly provided the match funding.
TWO RIVERS WALK IN IRVINE
The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate organised a “Two Rivers” walk (7 miles) or cycle (16 miles) beside or close to the Rivers Annick and Irvine on the 19th of June. 500 miles is extremely grateful for the total sum raised through sponsorship of the participants’ efforts – £1,229.24. £299.74 of that sum was raised by three walkers, Roisin Brady, Moira McDonald and Lorna Trainer who set up their own fundraising page. 500 miles was also grateful to make some valuable connections in Mzuzu through Ian Dickson who, as the Club’s international committee member, was also the instigator of the main event.
WALKING IN CHRIS HUME’S MEMORY
Georgina Hume lost her husband, Chris Hume, to cancer but before he died, Chris was enabled to live an active life by using a prosthesis. Georgina and her parents and their friends have been supporting 500 miles in Chris’s memory for some time now in a variety of ways including lunches and baking gingerbread cakes (see photo) and an in memoriam Just Giving page (see under December 2008) but in 2010 they pulled something special out of the bag. Georgina and 25 of her friends walked 20 miles each (so that’s 500 miles – and 20 more for good measure) over a camping weekend in May. Here is the group of walkers who among them raised over £6,000 by their perseverance and discomfort! We’d say they did Chris proud!
SUPPORT FROM BONALY MUMS AND DADS
The parents of Bonaly Primary School children, led by Fi Blair and Lorna Robertson, got behind their children’s support for 500 miles themselves. (See under March 2010 for the hard act that their kids set for them to follow!) Una Monteith was the prime mover in arranging a parents’ fun run which raised £825 in entry fees plus another £515.90 from Trena Macaulay’s own sponsorship page. Fi organised a social evening at Morningside Baptist Church where donations of about £464.12 were made. In addition, money from two cake bakes (£357) and donations at the school fete (£107.63) came to 500 miles. There were a number of spin-offs from these events but the immediate total was approximately £2,269.65 – which took the total from Bonaly to over £10,000.
ADVOCATING TEAM WORK
Lorna Drummond took part in the 500 legs challenge (see under April 2010) but then also went on to organise the Faculty of Advocates Ladies Marathon Relay Team. Lorna and her colleagues, Isla Davie, Anna Poole and Una Doherty ran in the Edinburgh Hairy Haggis Team Relay on 23rd May raising a fantastic £2,389.36 that was applied to the training costs of Elvas Singini from Malawi.
A HALF MARATHON FOR DIANE
Diane Milne of City Development in Dundee ran the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May raising £516.51 for 500 miles.
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER 10K
Delia and Louise Atherton, a mother and daughter team, ran the Ignis Asset Management 10K for 500 miles raising £583.46 in sponsorship. They heard about 500 miles on TV and just decided to support us.
The Rotary Club of Gryffe Valley raised £800 for 500 miles by organising an alfresco lunch for approximately 50 Club members and friends on a sunny Sunday in May. Mike Farley is on the International Committee of the Club and he and his wife, Kay, very kindly hosted the lunch in their garden.
500 LEGS – A WORLD RECORD BREAKER
Bill McWilliam had the idea for 500 legs for 500 miles! And then, in partnership with Maureen Polson, he delivered an amazing event that saw 265 people break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to complete 100 meters with their legs tied together in the same way as for a three-legged race. Groups of 20 people were invited to take part and practice together in advance of the big day on 25th April at Edinburgh Academy’s playing fields. They could practice as much as they wanted beforehand but once they declared that they were going for the record, they only got one shot to move the whole line for 100 meters without anybody stumbling. Almost unbelievably they broke the record – and raised over £7,500! We’re grateful to all who took part and supported the challenge but special mention must to the ladies of Bathgate led by Agnes Ritchie of Bathgate Rotary and the WAGs (see under June 2010) who raised a lot of money as well as setting the standard for three-legged walking!
Tim Cooke is a dentist from Inverness with experience of working in Malawi. He ran the London Marathon for 500 miles in April 2010 in 2 hours 54 minutes and 54 seconds – raising £898.35.
Moira Burrows is Jeannette Adu-Bobie’s physiotherapist, Jeannette being a long-time stalwart supporter of 500 miles (see under September 2010). Jeannette inspired Moira to run the London Marathon in 4 hours and 8 minutes – and to raise £780 for 500 miles.
NEED A HAND
Kathryn Gatt, a photography student, on her own initiative and as part of the second year of her degree course, staged a photography exhibition called, ‘Need a Hand’. It was a collection of photographs of people doing various everyday things with their hands – but they concentrated just on people’s hands – playing violin, knitting, making sandcastles, kneading bread, texting on a mobile phone, taking photographs, playing with puppets. Rather than spending money on a party for her 50th birthday, Kathryn paid all of the costs of the exhibition and asked her guests to donate to 500 miles and she raised £260.
DINNER DANCE AT THE GOTH
Maureen Bell from Bathgate Rotary organised a dinner dance at the Goth in Armadale on Friday 26th March featuring her husband’s band (Wee Three!) and a raffle. It must have raised the roof because Maureen raised £2,600!
PUPILS AT BONALY PRIMARY SCHOOL PUT IN THE MILES
Bonaly Primary School took our breath away! They organised an obstacle course at their school (inside and outside and taking in theIr trim track). Four laps made up a mile. During their PE classes one week in March all the pupils completed as many laps of the course as they could – in fancy dress. The pupils then collected sponsorship from friends and family for each mile that they had completed. Many more than 500 miles were run, crawled, climbed and tip-toed – and £8,181 was raised! The headmaster, Mr Robertson, was also spotted putting in the miles! Read on under May 2010 to find out how the parents took the total from Bonaly to over £10,000!
CLOVIE CATERPILLAR GOT LOTS OF LEGS
Clovenstone Primary School (who also supported 500 miles in October 2009) raised a wonderful £900 for 500 miles! Led by their acting head teacher, Mrs Henaghen, and starting in February, they set about raising money in a variety of ways from a sponsored swim and donations to a family bingo night and a quiz night. Every time they raised £60 – the average price of a prosthetic orthotic device at our projects – they put a leg on their very own “Clovie the Caterpillar”.
Cate Sibbald and friend Eve used their joint 9th birthday party to raise £237.95 for 500 miles instead of receiving birthday presents from their friends.
ESKHILL CHRISTMAS GREETINGS
Robin and Lindsay Burley of Eskhill & Co donated £500 to 500 miles instead of sending postal Christmas cards in 2009 – but not only that, their electronic greetings card was in fact a very strong advert for 500 miles.
MORNINGSIDE UNITED CHURCH
Morningside United Church (MUC) chose 500 miles for its major fundraising focus for 2009. MUC was introduced to 500 miles through Chris Oliver (see Chris’s 1,000 mile Cycle under August 2009) and so all funds raised by or through MUC went to FlySpec which was the particular 500 miles project that Chris chose to support. MUC raised around £8,000 through a concert by The Garleton Singers on 24th May at MUC, their Gift Day on 10th October, their Annual Lecture on 5th November and a Christmas concert at MUC by Glits on 16th December.
ONE MILE HOMECOMING WALK
On 27th November all of the pupils and staff of South Queensferry Primary School (and some parents) were sponsored to walk one mile round the school to raise over £1,800 for 500 miles – and to celebrate Homecoming year. A piper player sent them off and almost all wore tartan.
Miles for Smiles was Olivia’s big fundraising effort for the year. It raised £250,000. It all took place at the EICC in Edinburgh on the 3rd of October. Sir Sean Connery was the patron of Miles for Smiles which had two parts to it: the daytime 500 miles Challenge and the evening ball.
Over 2000 people took part in the 500 miles Challenge with one person or team beginning the same one mile circuit on each of the 500 minutes from 11.10am until 7.29pm. People were asked to complete their mile in a funny, challenging or ingenious way so as to attract maximum sponsorship – and they obliged! Alan Cuthbert did the 500th mile – having previously completed 499 miles over the summer – see below.
The Proclaimers were the main event at the ball which was attended by 730 people. Fred MacAulay, Nick Nairn, Jim Diamond and The Full Tin Tin were also brilliant!
A MILE ROUND CLOVENSTONE PRIMARY
As part of their Road Safety Week, all of the pupils and staff of Clovenstone Primary School walked one mile round their school on the 15th October. This school is in a very deprived area but they raised a wonderful £120.81!
ALAN’S 500 MILE WALK
Alan Cuthbert is “the man who walked 500 miles”! He clocked up his miles over the summer of 2009 by completing 6 of Scotland’s famous walks plus a few extra miles. In July he did the West Highland Way, in August, the Rob Roy Way and the Great Glen Way, in September the Fife Coastal Path and St Cuthbert’s Way and he finished up at the beginning of October by walking the John Muir Way. Alan’s 500th mile was the 500th mile of the Miles for Smiles 500 miles Challenge completed in full Highland dress on the 3rd October in Edinburgh. There was no falling down at any doors – Alan was the hero of the hour – not least because he raised over £6,500.
SKA CONCERT AT HALLOWEEN
Susan Forgie was the power and initiative behind this three-band concert which took place at The Picture House in Edinburgh at Halloween in aid of three charities, one of which was 500 miles. A 1,000 strong audience enjoyed performances from ska bands, Stanley Odd, Mystery Juice and finally Bombskare. 500 miles benefitted to the tune of about £600.
HALLOWEEN CAKE BAKE
The Scottish Government’s Health Department, led by Rachel Fairbairn, Janet Bourhill and Jacqui Lunday, held a fantastic Halloween cake bake and silent auction in aid of 500 miles on 30th October. There were cakes and auction lots in all colours and varieties – and a few witches’ hats and other seasonal headgear! They raised a splendid £347.61.
CHRIS’S 1,000 MILE CYCLE
Chris Oliver, an Edinburgh based Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats in August 2009. The total ride distance was 1,077 miles. The Proclaimers’ song is about walking 500 miles – and 500 more – so breaking the 1,000 mile barrier was very fitting!
Over 20 consecutive days (from 2nd August) with just one day’s rest, Chris covered a range of between 40 to 80 miles per day, climbed 57,000ft in hills (almost twice height of Everest!), cycled for a total of 97 hours with an average speed of 11mph and maximum speed of 41mph. Chris had 5 punctures and needed one new tyre! He was burning between 4,000 to 6,500 calories per day.
Just one of the amazing things about this feat is that 2 years previously Chris was 53kg heavier then than he is now!
Chris raised a phenomenal £12,120 all of which was applied to FlySpec.
Trailbrakes ran a 500 mile, 9-day mountain biking challenge round the cycling high spots of Scotland in support of 500 miles from 6th to 16th August 2009. This enterprising idea raised £1,050 for 500 miles.
MBA BALL AND SURVEY
On Saturday 11th July, the final year students on Imperial College of London’s MBA course held an end of course ball in aid of 500 miles. It was course member, Jeannette Adu-Bobie who put 500 miles forward because she has become a multiple amputee herself as a result of meningococcal septicaemia and depends heavily of prosthetic legs. The ball raised a wonderful £2,500. In addition, as part of her dissertation, Jeannette carried out a survey and asked each participant to make a small donation to 500 miles raising another £219 for 500 miles. (See Jeanette’s further challenge for 500 miles under September 2010).
DENISE TRIES A TRI
Denise Tracey completed her first ever triathlon at the “Try a Tri” event in Stirling on 7th June 2009! Denise decided to sacrifice her leisure time to train for this event and put herself through the ordeal on the day because she and her husband Jerry Tracey wanted to help people who can’t access the same quality of prosthetic care that Jerry received from the Scottish NHS when he lost his right foot as a result of a motorcycle accident in April 2007. Not only did Denise beat her private stretch goal of 1hr 40, she clocked a time of 1hr 37mins 24secs – and raised £1,680 for 500 miles! This money was applied towards the college fees of one of 500 miles’ Zambian prosthetics and orthotics students, Patrick Mwila.
BALERNO HIGH SCHOOL
500 miles was very fortunate to be selected as Balerno High School’s charity for the 2008/9 session. Through a series of stunning concerts showcasing the many and varied talents the School’s pupils, a staggering £7,000 was raised. This money paid for the fees and living allowance of one of 500 miles’ prosthetics and orthotics Diploma students for a whole year.
ROTARY SPONSORED WALK
Through their summer sponsored walk, the Rotary Club of Hamilton raised a cool £832 for 500 miles. Hamilton Rotary were also great supporters of Miles for Smiles in October 2009 – rotating their way round the course!
Keeping it in the McLaughlin family, Morag, Frank, Fiona and Monica boldly took on the Edinburgh Albert Bartlett Marathon – a relay marathon otherwise known as the Edinburgh Hairy Haggis Relay Marathon – on 31st May 2009. They were 201st out of 932 teams and they shared their sponsorship between 500 miles and Marie Curie Cancer Care. 500 miles got a cracking £840.
GAVIN HANNAH’S CYCLE TO JOHN O’GROATS
Gavin Hanna (43) cycled the gruelling 295 miles from his home in Glasgow to John O’Groats on 24th May 2009 in an amazing 19 hours and 5 minutes – so more or less non-stop! Gavin’s wife, Linda, was a great Sherpa.
Cycling time – 17hrs 5min . Average speed – 17.2 mph. Punctures 1 – but it was a bad one that ruined the tyre which had to be replaced . Things that helped fuel the trip – 15 cereal bars, 8 bananas, 3 packets of Jelly Babies, bottle of flat Tonic Water, 20 energy Gel sachets etc . Max speed – 44 mph. Min speed – 6 mph. Total raised – £1,800!
ST CADOC’S PRIMARY SCHOOL
By being sponsored to give up something for lent, the pupils of St Cadoc’s Primary School raised a total of £507.89 for 500 miles. This initiative was led by teacher and friend of 500 miles, Mrs Raso.
36 swimmers from George Heriot’s School Swimming Club swam 55 miles on 12 December 2008 raising a total of £1,725.82 for 500 miles which is a lot of money per swimmer!
IN MEMORY OF CHRIS HUME
Georgina Hume raised almost £2,000 for 500 miles in memory of her husband, Chris Hume, who died in October 2008 following the amputation of his leg in February 2007.
BEN NEVIS ANNIVERSARY CLIMB
Paul Williams was badly injured in a hit and run motor accident on 5 October 2007. Surgeons originally advised that he may have to lose the leg but fortunately that wasn’t necessary.
So, on 5 October 2008, Paul climbed to the peak of Ben Nevis and raised £800 for 500 miles.
IRON MAN UK TRIATHLON
Nigel Stoddart from Cheltenham raised £555 by competing in the Iron Man UK Triathlon on 7th September 2008.
LAKE WINDERMERE SWIM
Martin West raised a phenomenal £16,932.82 and inspired other donations by swimming across Lake Windermere. In 2004 Martin was run over by a lorry while cycling to work. Both of his legs were very badly crushed. Although his left leg was saved, the right one had to be amputated below the knee (now revised to above knee).
Prior to his accident Martin did a lot of running and cycling, neither of which he could do any longer so he took up swimming in 2007. Amazingly, Martin then decided to try to swim the 10.5 mile length of Lake Windermere for 500 miles – a 6-7 hour swim!.
GLASGOW RUNNING GIRLS
Aileen Thomson, a lawyer based in Glasgow, Helen Dougall, an ultra-fit GP from Aberfeldy, Sandra Thomson, a physiotherapist from Glasgow and Sherine Tavadia, a consultant dermatologist, all took part in the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow on 7th September 2008. Aileen and Helen tackled the Half Marathon and Sandra and Sherine the 10k. Among them the Glasgow Running Girls raised over £4,000.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMB
Andrea Santoni conquered the world’s highest freestanding mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania raising £662.18 for 500 miles.
Jane Dernie from Perth completed the Resolution Asset Management Women’s 10k on 18th May 2008 and exceeded her target by raising £682.05.
Sinikka Wyatt and friends organised and played in a piano marathon on 31st May 2008. 500 minutes of music raised over £1,500.
STRATHALLAN SCHOOL’S TRIATHLON AND SPEECH DAY
Strathallan School raised well over £2,000 with a fancy dress triathlon and donations at their speech day.
CLEVER GENTS’ GOLF DAY
The Clever Gents donated £710 following a day of golf and alcohol!
The children of Invergowrie Primary School (where Liam McKelvie, a quadruple amputee goes) did a sponsored skipping event and raised £1,250.
NEW YEARS DAY TRIATHLON
Rebecca Freeden, Katrina Morrison and Niall did the Edinburgh New Year’s Day Triathlon and raised £767 for 500 miles.
JCI BURNS SUPPER
Junior Chamber International (JCI) raised £880 for 500 miles with a Burns Supper and, with some match funding from Xerox, that was increased by another £250.
WEST HIGHLAND WAY RUN
Andy Miller and Ben Adams from Banchory Academy attempted to run the West Highland Way in 48 hours. They didn’t quite manage it due to poor weather but it was an impressive effort for such young guys – reflected in their impressive total of £1,750.
TITANIUM MAN CHALLENGE
On 4th August 2007 Jamie Andrew completed an Iron Man Triathlon length event which involved a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle and a 26.2 mile run – all non-stop in 24 hours! It raised approximately £30,000.
NORTH SEA ADVENTURE
Jamie Andrew, Stuart Macdonald and Alan Freestone sailed across the North Sea in “Challenge 3″, raising £10,000.