Bearsden businessman designs tartan for Kiltwalk team

Slanj the bear...will be donning Home-Start tartan, along with the charity's ambassador Kaye Adams, to take part in their first ever Glasgow Kiltwalk. The tartan was designed by Bearsden businessman Brian Halley, who runs Slanj Kilt Hire.
Slanj the bear...will be donning Home-Start tartan, along with the charity's ambassador Kaye Adams, to take part in their first ever Glasgow Kiltwalk. The tartan was designed by Bearsden businessman Brian Halley, who runs Slanj Kilt Hire.

Brian Halley knows the importance of giving back to the community.

And this weekend, 150 people will be running in kilts borrowed from his business, Slanj Kilt Hire, which has stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

New tartan...designed by Bearsden businessman Brian Halley for the Home-Start Glasgow North team competing in the 2018 Glasgow Kiltwalk.

New tartan...designed by Bearsden businessman Brian Halley for the Home-Start Glasgow North team competing in the 2018 Glasgow Kiltwalk.

For Brian is, for the second year, supporting the Glasgow Kiltwalk by providing people with free kilt hire for the event.

But this year Brian has also gone one step further – creating a special tartan for a charity taking part in the big event on Sunday.

He has been firm friends with Nikki O’Hara, Home-Start Glasgow North manager, for many years.

And when he discovered a team from the charity was taking part in this year’s event, he decided to step in to lend a hand.

It's official...the new tartan has been given the seal of approval and will be worn regularly by Home-Start Glasgow North's new mascot, Slanj the Bear.

It's official...the new tartan has been given the seal of approval and will be worn regularly by Home-Start Glasgow North's new mascot, Slanj the Bear.

Brian said: “This is our second year offering free kilt hire for the Glasgow Kiltwalk. It’s not the busiest time of year for us so we’re happy to help out.

“There had to be a cut off point though and this year we made that 150 kilts.

“I’ve known Nikki from Home-Start for many years.

“She was talking about sticking bits of tartan on their skirts but I thought it would be nice to do something special.

“We do corporate work, using business branding to design goods for sale, so we thought it would be nice to design a tartan for Home-Start – using the charity’s colours, which made for a really nice tartan.”

The Home-Start Glasgow North tartan will get its first outing on Sunday when it will be showcased on the charity’s new bear mascot – Slanj – who will sport a fabulous kilt at the Kiltwalk.

While Brian won’t be donning the bear suit, one of his employees will be.

He said: “Our manager Ross Lyall will be wearing the suit – I’m not sure he’ll be keeping it on for the whole Kiltwalk though!”

As for the Home-Start team, they are delighted with their new tartan.

Nikki said: “This is a great opportunity for us, working with such an iconic Scottish brand for our first Kiltwalk.

“Eleven members of staff and around 60 volunteers are taking part on Sunday.

“We thought it would be a great way to raise our profile while also raising some funds for the charity.

“Both Slanj and our ambassador, Kaye Adams, will be wearing our new tartan at the event.”

Home-Start Glasgow North helps to increase the confidence and independence of families with at least one child under five years old who are experiencing difficulties.

Based in Maryhill, it provides support for families across the whole of north Glasgow but many of its volunteers are from the East Dunbartonshire area.

They include Emma Frame, a yoga teacher from Bearsden who, along with six friends, will be taking on the Mighty Stride on Sunday, the longest Kiltwalk at 23 miles.

Nikki added: “Emma has long been a supporter of Home-Start and we can’t thank her – and everyone else who is supporting us this Sunday – enough for their help in raising our profile.

“I’m sure it will be a great day, although we’re all looking forward to the finish line most!”

To support the team, visit https://glasgowkiltwalk2018.everydayhero.com/uk/home-start-glasgow-north-kiltwalkers.

Still time to sign up for Kiltwalk 2018

Last year, more than 14,000 Scots took part in the Kiltwalk helping to raise more than £2.6 million for over 780 charities across Scotland.

Thanks to the extra 40 per cent from The Hunter Foundation, for every £100 raised by a walker, their chosen charity receives £140.

The first Kiltwalk of the year is in Glasgow on Sunday, April 29. The walk begins at Glasgow Green with Mighty Striders reaching the finish line some 23 miles away in Balloch.

To ensure there’s a walk for all ages and abilities, there’s also the 14-mile Big Stroll and the six-mile Wee Wander to choose from.

The Kiltwalk then heads to Aberdeen on June 3, with St Andrews to Dundee on August 19 and, lastly, takes to the streets of Edinburgh on Sunday, September 16.

Paul Cooney, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk, said: “We would like to thank everyone who is taking part or volunteering in any of the four Kiltwalks across Scotland this year.

“The Kiltwalk is such a special day; the atmosphere at the start line and along the route is full of joy and energy and it’s inspiring to see so many people coming together, united by the desire to raise money for charities close to their hearts.

“We want as many people as possible to experience this and as many charities as possible to benefit, especially with the extra 40 per cent top-up from Sir Tom Hunter.

“Helping to make the day such a success is our band of brilliant Kiltie volunteers who are placed along the route to hand out refreshments and cheer walkers on, adding to the feel-good factor.”

For more information about the Kiltwalk, to register to take part or to volunteer at any of the events, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.