Glasgow Kiltwalk: Males Tales and Female Tales in formation for charity event

Volunteers from a Helensburgh charity have started racking up the miles as they prepare to tackle this year’s Kiltwalk.

A team of seven will represent mental health charity Males and Females Tales at the event in Glasgow on Sunday April 24.

The group was supposed to take part in last year’s event, but train cancellations forced them to look for another option.

John Lewis, Founder and Managing Director of Males Tales, said: “We did the equivalent route in Helensburgh, to Garelochhead and back, as we couldn’t get into Glasgow.

“This will be the first year that we have been to Glasgow for the event.

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“I think half of us kind of hoped it would just be canceled, but someone came up with the idea, so we all went and did it.”

The Kiltwalk offers participants a choice of three routes: the 22.6-mile Mighty Stride, the 14.5-mile Big Stroll or the Wee Wander which covers three to five miles.

John and his team will do the longest walk, which starts at Glasgow Green and ends at Balloch.

The total funds raised by the team, up to £5,000 per walker, will be matched 50% by the Hunter Foundation.

John said: “We don’t have a specific target. Anything that helps move us forward will be appreciated and will make a huge difference.

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“We’re such a small charity – we don’t pay any of our employees, so every penny that comes in goes back into training or things to help people who use the service.”

The charity offers peer support sessions led by fully trained volunteers for people struggling with their mental health.

Volunteers are also trained in mental health, suicide and self-harm awareness.

The charity also offers one-on-one sessions with fully qualified life coaches and practitioners, as well as a ‘Buddy Buddy’ system which allows its users to speak with a volunteer before attending their first meeting, to that there is a familiar relationship in front of the room when they attend.

John said that now that the services are established, this type of fundraising is important to ensure their sustainability.

READ MORE: We meet the team behind Helensburgh’s new ‘Female Tales’ peer support service

He added: “I think it’s just important that our service is always available.

“No matter what is happening culturally or socially, there will always be something happening that can have a massive effect on people’s well-being.

“There was the pandemic recently, 15 years ago there was a recession, before there was X, Y and Z.”

The fundraising donation page is open now and can be found at bit.ly/kiltwalkmalestales.

If you’re training for the Kiltwalk to raise money for a good cause in Helensburgh and Lomond, please let us know and we’ll help spread the word – email [email protected] or send Message us on Facebook with the info and we’ll get back to you.

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