A KILBARCHAN police officer took on a mammoth walking challenge last weekend to raise hundreds of pounds for a charity close to her heart.

Karen Baird walked 56 miles – the equivalent of more than two marathons – from Glasgow to Edinburgh in under 24 hours for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society Scotland. 

Starting from Bishopbriggs at 4am on Saturday, she walked along the Forth and Clyde Canal, and Union Canal, before finishing in Edinburgh City Centre on Saturday evening. 

The 30-year-old has worked as a response officer in Renfrewshire for almost four years and completed the challenge in support of two friends Karine and Jill, who are living with MS.

Karen dressed up as Wally, from the Where’s Wally series of books, after giving Karine the chance to choose the fancy dress costume she should wear.

“I knew I wanted to do something to help, so I decided why not take on this challenge,” Karen told The Gazette.

“I’ve known Karine for around six years now and we worked together as custody officers. There was never a day we didn’t have a laugh and she’s been a great support to me.

“Karine loved her role as a custody officer but has unfortunately had to give up this role due to her MS symptoms. Despite this, she’s determined to not let MS get in her way. I couldn’t be more proud of her. 

“Jill also refuses to let MS stop her living her life the way she wants to. Their strength and positivity, in spite of the challenges they face, is inspiring. 

“I want to raise as much money as I can to help support other people living with MS in Scotland and in the hope that one day a cure can be found.”

Morna Simpkins, Director of MS Society Scotland, said: “A massive thank you to Karen for taking on this fantastic challenge and raising funds to support the MS community at this crucial time. 

“More than 15,000 in Scotland are living with MS and demand for our services and support has increased as people begin to live with the impacts of the pandemic. ”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/karen-baird10

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