Friends taking on Glasgow Kiltwalk to raise money for Accord Hospice

A team of friends are pulling on their trainers and getting ready to walk more than 22 miles in aid of Accord Hospice.

The 10-strong group – who’ve called themselves Balloch or Bust – are taking part in the Mighty Stride at the Glasgow Kiltwalk, which returns in person this Sunday, April 24.

Siblings Debbie and Craig Whittingham, who grew up in Renfrew, were supported by Accord Hospice when their mum Jennifer passed away last December, aged 71.

So their friends decided to rally round, sign up for the Kiltwalk, start training and raise as much money as they could to give something back to support them.

Debbie, 43, said: “Last December my mum unfortunately passed away with brain cancer at Accord Hospice.

“My mum’s disease progressed quite quickly. We weren’t in and out of the hospice but what they did for us was invaluable.

“They do a Hospice at Home service and came to my mum’s home in Renfrew and helped care for her in ways that we couldn’t. She needed help but she at that time was not ill enough to go into the hospice.

“Towards the end, she went into the hospice which was a nicer, less clinical environment, than a hospital.

“Everyone in Accord had a better understanding of terminal illness, it’s what they do every day, they understand all aspects of it.

“They have a team that coordinates with each other. We never used this but they have outpatient groups that people can go along to.

“We didn’t need to ring round different places to get help, it was all there.”

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Accord Hospice which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, provides free palliative and end of life care to 1,200 patients and their families in Renfrewshire every year, both at home and in the hospice.

It costs £5,000 a day to run the hospice and more than half of this, 59 per cent, is raised through fundraising.

This year the Kiltwalk is returning in person after virtual events for the last two years. Every penny raised for charity is topped up to 50 per cent thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation.

Debbie said: “My friend Alison suggested doing the Kiltwalk and I thought it was a brilliant idea.

“My friends are doing it which makes me and Craig feel so supported and loved and my mum would like that too.

“Also we have had so many donations from friends and family and colleagues which has been amazing. People have been so generous and they’re really rooting for us which helps too.”

Debbie Whittingham with her mum Jennifer who was cared for at Accord last December.

She added: “I’ve got mixed feelings about doing the Kiltwalk. I’m excited about it, it will be nice to give a bit back to Accord which helped my mum so much.

“I also think it will be a very emotional day and my mum would have loved to have seen it.

“I was so proud of my mum and I just wish she could be there to see it.

“Lots of people who are taking part in the Kilwalk are in similar positions and want to raise money for things that they care about.

“It’s going to be a really fun day and a great atmosphere.”

To support Balloch or Bust and donate to Accord Hospice, go to

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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