Our latest Kiltwalk Highlight
Meet Gary, a long-time Kiltie, turned Kiltwalker.
Name: Gary Trench
Occupation (Optional): Bus Driver
Charity you support and why?
I support the Mental Health Foundation. I support them as I have had my battles with my own mental health in the past and really appreciate all that they do. I hope that by not only raising some funds but also by raising awareness and spreading their message, I can help someone else get the courage to get the support they need. And this has never been more important than now during the pandemic. The Dundee Virtual Kiltwalk was the perfect platform to do this and hopefully help someone struggling, In fact, I actually had a lovely message from someone I didn't know who saw one of my fundraising videos and thanked me for giving them the strength to go talk to someone on the back of my story. Made everything worthwhile and gives me the courage to tell my story and continue to support the Mental Health Foundation and other mental health charities going forward.
I also support Calum's Cabin through my volunteering as a Kiltie. The Hunter Foundation also give a generous donation to our chosen charities based on the number of hours I volunteer. I chose Calum's Cabin after hearing from Caroline who runs the Cabin at my first Kiltie training session. I was so moved by the story behind the Cabin and what purpose it serves and I think it is just amazing in so many ways.
Interesting fact about yourself?
I have actually volunteered with the Kiltwalk over the past 6 years and absolutely love it. An interesting fact would be that I actually managed to squeeze in my own mini walk over the Tay Bridge during my Kiltie Volunteer cycling in the Dundee event in 2019. During my Kiltie shift, where I was meant to be cycling, I ended up walking back and forth over the bridge about 20 times as the security staff deemed it unsafe to cycle due to high winds. I was so knackered that by the time I crawled back onto my bike I could not move! But again, it so worth it as I was determined nobody was crossing that bridge in that wind without some Kiltie support.
Best ever Kiltwalk highlight?
As a Kiltie my favourite thing every year is seeing people cross the finish line and how much it means to them. The one time that stands out is most is Glasgow 2019 and in the last third of the walk, I met a girl who was really struggling to finish and was quite emotional about not making it. I got talking to her and found out she was walking for SAMH and I got to know her story and she inspired me to help get her to that end line. So we started walking and long story short as we progressed along the route another Kiltie joined the entourage to get her to the line and when she crossed that line with her Kiltie army I actually was emotional as I knew what it meant and just summed up why Kiltwalks are so important and why I love being involved.
What are you looking forward to most about your next Kiltwalk?
I just can't wait to see all my Kiltie and Kiltwalk staff friends I've missed so much this year and the banter we all have that makes the days special, making new friends. But I really can't wait to see the thousands of people out there raising important funds for charities and causes so close to their hearts and I know that when it's safe to do so the Kiltwalk is going to come back bigger and better and that is so exciting.
Thanks to Gary for taking part and sharing his story! Standby for plenty more Kiltwalk Highlights coming soon...
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