The First Minister joined a crowd of more than 10,000 to raise cash for charity at Glasgow’s Kiltwalk on Sunday.
The event, where walkers dressed in kilts to take on routes up to 23 miles long, saw £3 million drummed up for 685 charities across Scotland after a 50% top-up from The Hunter Foundation on every £1 collected.
The latest fundraising figures mean the event has now raised more than £32 million for 2,850 charities over the last six years.
Sir Tom Hunter, from The Hunter Foundation, said: “I regard the success of Kiltwalk as one of the foundation’s greatest achievements. It was a joy to see so many of our Kiltwalk heroes out in their tartan this morning at Glasgow Green.
“Their kindness means the world to me and to Scotland’s charities, and I can’t stress enough how much it’s appreciated in these toughest of times.
“After a challenging few years, Scotland’s charities benefit from every donation so Kiltwalkers should be very proud of the difference they have made today.”
This year marks the return of Kiltwalks in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh following the pandemic.
A virtual Kiltwalk Weekend is planned for October after the success of virtual events that were held during lockdown.
Glasgow walkers has the choice of three routes – the 23-mile mighty stride from Glasgow Green, the 15-mile big stroll from Clydebank, and the three-mile wee wander from Loch Lomond Shores. The routes converged to end at the Kiltwalk Village in Balloch.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon completed the three-mile walk for Who Cares? Scotland, a national voluntary organisation working with care experienced young people and care leavers.
Ms Sturgeon spoke with people who have experience of the state care system on the issues important to them.
The First Minister said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in the Kiltwalk today to support the vital work of Who Cares? Scotland and hear about the issues faced by those care experienced people taking part.
“The Scottish Government is committed to Keeping The Promise by 2030, and we are working closely with partners like Who Cares? Scotland to ensure that the voices of Care Experienced people continue to be heard.
“There are many further steps on the road ahead to ensuring that all children know only love and compassion and not a care ‘system’, which is why our Keeping The Promise implementation plan includes a number of actions across a wide range of areas to significantly reduce the number of children in care, and a commitment to invest at least £500 million over this parliamentary term to make sure families get the support they need to thrive.”
Other famous faces who took part included broadcaster Jackie Bird and River City actor Stephen Purdon.
Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) raised more than £1 million before adding its Glasgow Kiltwalk fundraising, and also boasted the largest number of walkers as well as hosting a charity pit stop at Clydebank.
Fiona Leslie, senior community and challenge events fundraiser for CHAS, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been part of Scotland’s Kiltwalk and would like to say a massive thank you to every walker who took on the challenge for CHAS in our 30th anniversary year.”