Saturday 27 May 2017

Glasgow Kiltwalk 2017 - the lead up

Hello everyone, Auntie H here! I haven't posted in a long time, I've realised just how busy life can be, before you know it it's been 3 months since you last blogged!! I hope to rectify this soon, I've still a few ideas which have been sitting on the back burner.
Anyway, today I'm here to tell you all about my experience as a volunteer for the Glasgow Kiltwalk this year. I'll be doing this over 2 different posts, one for the lead up to the event and one for the day of the event.  

A bit about it: "Kiltwalk is a unique charity that enables walkers to raise money for any Scottish charity of their choice. By staging events that bring together thousands of walkers who fundraise for their chosen charity or cause, we support those in need of a helping hand. A Kiltwalk is a powerful fundraising model, developed and under-written by Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation. Their support will enable 110% of the sponsorship money raised by Kiltwalkers to go directly to their charity or local cause. Every walker can select the charity or local cause that they wish to donate to." taken from the Kiltwalk website.

So it all started when I was at Gospel one Friday night and S (a fellow Centrestager who works for Kiltwalk) came along and told us all about the Kiltwalk, specifically the Glasgow one, as there are 4. It sounded like great fun, raising money for charity by doing something a bit different, and Centrestage were going to be involved this year so a lot of my friends would be doing it too. Now the Kiltwalk has 3 different distances you can walk; 6 miles, 15 miles or 23 miles. One person from Centrestage was going to lead each distance for the Cs teams. P was leading the 23 miles, and as he is the head of tech I had chosen that distance. However due to ongoing medical issues with my foot I was advised it would be best not to do the walk this year. I was gutted, I had been really hoping I'd be able to do it but unfortunately not. I still wanted to be involved so I had decided I would volunteer.

A couple of weeks before the Kiltwalk S posted up on Facebook about them still looking for volunteers, Carnival Kilties to be precise. A Kiltie is what the volunteers are called, it's a pretty cool name. Carnival Kilties were a brand new role created this year, whose job all day was to motivate the walkers. Dress daft, dance around like a clown and shout encouragement all day? That sounded like something I could do! (Anyone who knows me is nodding their head in agreement haha) So I signed up and I am so happy I did. After a short telephone interview I was given a training date to go along to. The training day was very informative and gave us an opportunity to meet other volunteers before the big day. This was when I met T who was going to be a Carnival Chieftain. (Chieftain means you have an extra layer of responsibility on the day, with a team of up to 12 Kilties to look after) It was good fun and the Carnival Kilties stayed for extra time afterwards to learn a dance routine.

In order to sign up for shifts we all created a login for the volunteer portal. It was handy as we could then pick the location and times of our shifts. I chose to sign up for a set up shift at Glasgow Green on the Saturday 11am-3pm and then had my set shift on the Sunday. As Carnival Kilties we were scheduled from 7am-4.30pm, starting at Glasgow Green but then redeploying to wherever we were needed. As part of the training we were sent a link during the week to an e-learning module. This was useful as it meant all Kilties had the same information and anyone coming from further away who couldn't make the training days could still be fully informed. That was me all ready to go....or so I thought. I got a call on the Thursday night before the walk letting me know that more Carnival Kilties had signed up, and there were now too many for one Chieftain, so would I like to be a Carnival Chieftain? I said yes please, what a great opportunity! I was super excited to meet everyone and help keep us going all day.

The set up day was great fun, we put out fences, unloaded more water than I've seen in my life, decorated the barriers and put up signs to direct walkers to registration. We had lots of fun whilst doing it!

One of our Kilties trying out the waterproofs for size
It was nice to meet other Kilties and I saw T again so we did some planning for the next day.

Once we'd finished our set up shift I was directed on the quickest way back to the train station (thanks Trish!) as my sense of direction is awful! Haha anyway I headed back to Ayr for a catch up dinner with my friend H and she dropped me at Tesco once we were finished. There I purchased my supplies for the next day; bits and bobs for our Carnival team, some on the go food for myself and some treats for passing walkers :)

My supplies for the big day
M picked me up and we headed home to get a good night's rest before the big day.  (he was getting up at 5am to take me to Glasgow as Sunday public transport wouldn't suffice)
More on the big day in a further post available soon!!

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