One Celtic fan has been walking on with hope in his heart and the worthy causes of Celtic FC Foundation and the Kilbryde Hospice will reap the benefits.
“I’m doing the easy bit, it is these two great charities that do all the hard work.” The words of lifelong Celtic fan, Brian Haughey, who has embarked on an enormous personal challenge this season, to support causes close to his heart.
Brian, who along with his family, are great supporters of Kilbryde Hospice, is walking from the Hospice in East Kilbride to Celtic Park – approximately 9.5 miles – for each and every one of Celtic’s home league matches this season.
Despite the fact that Brian is unable to attend the matches upon arrival, due to the ongoing restrictions, this hasn’t put him off and, all being well, by the end of the season he will have completed 19 walks, totalling over 180 miles.
Brian is also a passionate supporter of Celtic FC Foundation and decided to mark October’s Glasgow derby match with a special walk, with all monies raised to be shared equally between the Foundation and the Hospice.
Speaking of his season-long challenge and this Saturday’s walk, Brian said: “I have been around Kilbryde Hospice for over 10 years and my father is an Ambassador. I have seen at first hand the impact this current crisis has had on the Hospice.
“Knowing that despite this, they are still delivering a high level of care to their patients and families, it was an easy decision to get involved. They are truly at the frontline of this pandemic, so I was delighted to help in some way.
“Likewise with Celtic FC Foundation, the work that they have been doing through the Football for Good Fund since the start of the pandemic has been truly incredible. So many of the most vulnerable within our communities have been provided with food and essentials when they needed it most.
“Since part of my challenge is walking to Celtic Park, I was keen to involve the Foundation in some way and I was thrilled that I was able to do this by offering the chance to split all proceeds raised from the walk on October 17.
“Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, these charities have found themselves within one of the most challenging and unprecedented times that they have ever faced.
“The Hospice needs at least £50,000 per week to deliver their clinical services and many of their traditional fundraising avenues have simply become impossible to deliver at the moment.
“The Foundation have experienced the same problem, with the majority of their fundraising activities postponed and facing a huge hole in their income as a result. However, despite this they have continued to provide amazing support within our communities.
“For many charities, supporter-led fundraising is even more crucial now than ever and I just hope that my walks can help in some way. I have targeted raising £10,000 in total for Kilbryde Hospice across the season and I’m delighted that we were also able to also raise a great amount for Celtic FC Foundation too.
“So far, the walks have been enjoyable. To spread the pressure of fundraising I have invited someone different to join me on each walk and thankfully no one has got fed up with my terrible jokes or repetitive chat. The weather has also been good to me on my five walks to this point and it hasn’t been wet or too cold yet. I know this will change in the winter but it’s a three-hour walk each time and I’ll remind myself I’m doing it to help amazing causes.”
Unfortunately, Brian was unable to take part in the walk on October 17 as planned, as he was required to self-isolate, however, Hospice CEO, Gordon McHugh stepped in to take his place and joined two Celtic FC Foundation representatives for the 9.5 mile challenge.
It was an early start for the team, who set off from East Kilbride at around 7.30am and arrived at Celtic Park 2 hours and 10 minutes later.
You can continue to support Brian, Gordon and the Celtic FC Foundation team’s wonderful efforts by making a donation HERE.