A GROUP of Johnstone women are staging a fundraising drive with a tartan touch as they coin in cash for a Howwood hospice.

Lesley Ollerton will be accompanied by family members, friends and colleagues on Sunday as they take on this year’s virtual Kiltwalk.

The mum-of-two has brought the group together to walk 16 miles in support of St Vincent’s Hospice at a time when it desperately needs funds as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Lesley told The Gazette: “I’ve done the Kiltwalk for the last four or five years and most of them were to raise money for St Vincent’s.

“When I heard there was going to be a virtual Kiltwalk this year, I thought it would be good to get a team together.

“I know St Vincent’s are struggling at the moment because they heavily rely on fundraising and sponsors and their usual events haven’t been able to take place.”

The group of 11 will start outside Lesley’s home in Quarry Street, Johnstone, before walking through Thomas Shanks Park and Spateston into Howwood.

After walking around the base of Kenmore Hill, they plan to stroll along the cycle path to Castle Semple Loch and the RSPB reserve in Lochwinnoch, before making their way back home.

The Gazette: Lesley OllertonLesley Ollerton

Lesley added: “We’re all going to be wearing our kilts and St Vincent’s t-shirts, so it will be a sea of red.

“My dad passed away at St Vincent’s and quite a few of us have lost loved ones there, so we all have a wee soft spot for the hospice.

“The staff are fantastic, as they don’t just look after the residents, they also look after families with things such as their counselling services.”

Carol-Anne Lamont, income generation lead at St Vincent’s Hospice, is full of praise for the group.

She said: “On behalf of all of us at St Vincent’s Hospice, from the bottom of our hearts we want to say such a huge thank-you to Lesley and her friends for supporting us by taking part in the virtual Kiltwalk.

“This is not Lesley’s first time supporting St Vincent’s by participating in the Kiltwalk. As a charity, we are very close to Lesley’s heart and we are aware that she has been instrumental in pulling the group together.”

To support the group’s fundraising efforts by making a donation, visit virtual.thekiltwalk.co.uk/fundraising/ScotlandsVirtualKiltwalk2021-LesleyOllerton.