Last weekend our two charities, the Little Art Stars and the Dementia Arts Trust, walked the Kiltwalk. The Kiltwalk is a wonderful event backed by the Hunter Foundation. Every penny raised is topped up by 50% by Sir Tom Hunter’s foundation, making this a really important event in our fundraising calender.
This year the Kiltwalk had to alter the usual routes and mass gathering in light of the Pandemic. Instead of all gathering together, walkers chose their own routes and walked for their chosen charity. We were so fortunate to have really committed teams walking for both of our charities. Kiltwalk 2021 will stand out as a moment in time when our Little Art School family came together and walked for our causes, about which we all feel so passionately.
The Kiltwalk weekend started for us when Liam Kelly walked the first walk for our children’s charity, Little Art Stars, raising an astonishing £545 by walking from Troon to Largs in glorious sunshine. He was followed the next day by ‘Sole Sisters’ Wendy Robinson and Grace Johnston who had trained through a rainy spring to complete their amazing 10 mile walk for the Dementia Arts Trust on Friday 24th; that fizz was well deserved ladies!
On Friday the Little Arts Stars team ‘Michelle and Co’ took to the seafront, looking smart in their T shirts to walk the 10k from Troon to Irvine, finishing for ice cream at Vanilla Joe’s. Michelle’s team of walkers had our special ‘Little Leg Walkers’: Liv Kelly, Olli and Georgie Neville, Chrissy McLardy and Freddie Baker, who all did brilliantly. But we have to give a special mention to our very youngest Kiltwalker, Mila Baker, who is just 2 years old and walked all the way! The team of Little Leg Walkers were accompanied by mums and dads, aunties and uncles and a very proud Nanny Baker and Auntie Bridget.
Saturday saw teams walking for both charities right across Ayrshire. Suzie, Poppy and Finlay with doggie Louis started the first day of their walking challenge in the glorious sunshine completing 7.8 miles before setting off again on Sunday to carry on walking with Louis leading the way. Suzie’s Clan were walking for Dementia Arts Trust and joined Kathleen and Rhys, walking for Little Art Stars, as they managed to navigate their way around the sunbathers on Ayr beach! Rhys is just 8 years old and walked 18 miles over the two days – amazing effort for little legs! Team Robinsons also walked in the sunshine on Saturday, clocking up 13 miles walking from Stair to Ayr with enthusiastic dog Cooper for the Little Art Stars.
Holly Kelly walked an amazing 26 miles with Jack Paterson, both raising a fantastic sum for the Little Art Stars. Holly walked through sore feet to keep going, her dedication to the Little Art Stars still as strong as it was when she was working in the classroom with our wonderful little artists. Thank you Holly, that was a marathon of a walk!
On Sunday, hundreds of miles south, Bec Tinkler and Michael Beresford walked an incredible 26 miles for the Dementia Arts Trust, resplendent in kilts their amazing effort took just over 7 hours (wow!!) Thank you for flying the flag for us down south Bec and Michael!
Anne Marie and Joanna Burns with daughters Sophia and Becca finished Day 2 of their walk in beautiful sunshine at Culzean castle with Lulu looking very dapper in her Dementia Arts Stars bandana! They walked for the Dementia Arts Trust and doggies and girls had great fun and raised lots!
A special mention has to go to Ed McLardy. Ed was unable to join his family walking to Irvine because he had to isolate. Instead this amazing little boy clocked up the distance in his garden, going all out on his own to make sure that he joined in the Kiltwalk effort. Ed is only just 7 and an absolute superstar.
What a weekend! This final photo sums up everything we love about the Little Art School family and how our projects may run independently but we all work together and support each other as we strive to keep using art to build self-esteem for some of the most vulnerable members of our community: Michelle, Kathleen and Suzie, walking together, a perfect image of a team joining together to keep us moving forward.
Thank you to everyone who came out and walked for us and everyone who sponsored the teams. What a wonderful way to emerge from lockdown to a future full of promise for both our charities.