Edinburgh elder to do sponsored walk in aid of children's cancer charity
Published on 7 June 2023 2 minutes read
A Church of Scotland elder will walk 15 miles from Cockenzie and Port Seton Old Parish Church to Craigsbank Parish Church to raise money for a children's cancer charity.
On Saturday 10 June, Graeme Allan, 41, will also stop off at Corstorphine Old Parish Church where he has been a lifelong member and an elder since 2006.
Mr Allan, who is a divinity graduate and works for Bright Bus Tours in Edinburgh, will be fundraising for Young Lives vs Cancer, a charity he first supported at school.
Young Lives vs Cancer is the charity that focuses on helping children, young people (0-25) and their families that are facing cancer. The charity's dedicated social workers offer specialist and empowering support, its Homes from Home offer families a free place to stay nearby to the child's hospital and grants help families to navigate the costs of cancer.
"Their Homes from Home idea is that sometimes the kids have to go for cancer treatment many miles from where they stay, and the shelters give the family somewhere to stay," he said.
Explaining how he became aware of the organisation, Mr Allan said that at school he'd been in a choir, and in his first year of being involved with it a pupil had sadly died of leukaemia.
The choir, which was run by Dr John Murray, raised money that Christmas for the charity which is now known as Young Lives vs Cancer.
Dr Murray passed away two years' ago, with Mr Allan describing him as "like a father figure".
"It hit a lot of us who knew him through our schooling," he added.
As a tribute to Dr Murray, last year Mr Allan held a concert to raise money for charities including Young Lives vs Cancer.
"For me it's an ongoing legacy and tribute to Dr Murray," he said.
Reflecting on further reasons for wanting to help the charity, Mr Allan said:
"Where I feel my faith is at the moment is I know the skillset God has given me - it's to love one another as I've loved you.
"Doing this helps kids who need it.
"It was my 40th last year and my thought was to do something for others, which is why I did the fundraising concert.
"It was very much do something for someone else, not just for me."
Along the route, which has been chosen as a nod to the associate minister of Corstorphine Old Parish Church, William Watt, as he is from Port Seton, Mr Allan will be listening to a playlist for encouragement, including music from his friend Christy Campbell.
As to whether he's going to be doing more sponsored walks, Mr Allan says he'll see how this one goes but he hopes to continue fundraising for Young Lives vs Cancer.
"They were very encouraging and supportive," he said. "It makes you want to do more for them."
Sophie Bennet, fundraising and engagement executive for Young Lives vs Cancer, said:
"Supporting fundraisers like Graeme is such a special part of my day to day role and we cannot thank him enough for all that they're doing for Young Lives vs Cancer.
"Right now, we only reach two out of three children and young people that are diagnosed with cancer, but with the support of people like Graeme, we can aim to close that gap."